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Less Invasive Neurosurgery: Advances in Thin Film Electrodes on Track to Reach Marketplace

NeuroOne Medical Technologies Corporation (NeuroOne) executed an Exclusive Development and Distribution Agreement with Zimmer Biomet one of the world’s most highly respected medical device manufacturers and a worldwide leader in robotic technology used for a variety of orthopedic and minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures. The agreement gives Zimmer Biomet exclusive global rights to distribute NeuroOne’s Evo (Evo1) patented electrode technology.

Dave Rosa, President and CEO of NeuroOne Medical Technologies Corporation said the following in regards to the newly formed partnership and advancements in thin film electrodes.

The Evo electrode is expected to draw a great deal of interest from neurosurgeons seeking a new surgical solution for their patients with neurological conditions, including epilepsyParkinson’s disease (PD) and chronic pain due to failed back surgeries.

Evo Cortical Electrodes, intended for recording, monitoring and stimulating brain tissue for up to 30 days, have the potential to change the landscape of neurosurgical procedures. The technology, which utilizes sophisticated automated manufacturing processes, offers a thin-film lightweight design, high-resolution capabilities, reduced immunological response—as demonstrated in pre-clinical studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic—and the potential to be placed in a minimally invasive manner. 

Despite the current challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, NeuroOne expects that its suppliers will be able to meet the initial launch order requests so that the Company can initiate commercialization efforts.

Improving on Outdated Technology

When compared with other therapeutic areas, advances in brain electrode technology have not kept pace. In fact, current technology has limited resolution, requires invasive surgeries for implantation and is labor intensive to manufacture, in part because they are generally handmade. What’s more, the silicone base of existing electrode technology does not optimally conform to the brain as compared with thin film polyimide material.Existing electrode technology is also limited in its ability to increase the recording resolution of the electrodes under its current design.

In contrast, new polyimide thin film electrodes may provide higher resolution recording for more advanced clinical applications. Developers of this innovative technology also anticipate that the replacement of current silicone electrodes with polyimide thin film electrodes for the acquisition of intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) could provide enhanced clinical electrophysiological value with reduced cost, infection risk and patient discomfort.

Increasing Flexibility and Reducing Mass

Thin film strip and grid electrodes made with polyimide thinfilm technology are an effective way to increase mechanical flexibility and reduce mass. This is better for the brain because they weigh less than traditional electrodes and conform more completely to the brain to optimize contact. Also, this technology could be scaled to provide high-definition recordings enabling the clinician to be more precise in identifying the problematic tissue. 

Contacts on the electrodes may be scaled down in size, improving the ability to increase resolution, as well as customize electrode configurations to meet physician requests. Given its automated manufacturing system, this technology also shows promise for reducing lead times to customers.

Given the potential to reduce the brain’s immunological response, the use of Evo cortical electrode technology should not only increase patient comfort but also reduce signal artifacts associated with the brain electrode interface.

In addition to its potential for less invasive placement, the technology may allow for mass production of high-density microelectrode arrays that may be customized per physician request. Also, the ability of microelectrodes to provide high spatial resolution may enable powerful computing techniques, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Promising Thin Film Electrode Platform

The result of a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni Research Foundation and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Evo is a true platform technology that has the potential to change the landscape of neurosurgical applications.

In another technology advance, the stereoelectroencephalography (sEEG) Depth Electrode is an expansion of NeuroOne’s thin film platform and has advantages that will include the ability to access deep cortical structures (where Evo Cortical Electrodes are placed on the brain’s surface) and the electrodes will be implanted through tiny twist holes instead of a craniotomy. The less invasive implant procedure should lead to fewer complications, less post-operative pain and shorter length of stay in the hospital.

Potentially, this high-definition thin film platform could fit well into the evolving neuroscience research and allow for more effective and precise stimulation of neurons. To expedite its entry into research studies, and to drive future development, NeuroOne has assembled an advisory board that includes seven leading AI experts to assist in the planning, development and application of the technology.

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