Ultrasound and Electrical Engineering: MUSIC Device
The multi-function spinal cord implant (MUSIC) is a biocompatible flexible electronics and ultrasound patch employed to monitor and treat spinal cord injuries (SCI), currently under design and development as part of a $13.48 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant.
What will the device do?
This device will provide medics with a safe, effective portable solution to monitor and treat acute spinal cord injuries, especially in areas of combat, where supplies are limited. The conformal, flexible patch will employ both electrical and ultrasound modalities for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
While significantly smaller than commercial ultrasound imaging probes, this device will still provide the same image resolution.
This device will occupy approximately 50 mm3 in the epidural space directly above the site of a SCI. The flexible material allows the implant to be wrapped partially around the dura.
MUSIC Project Features
The MUSIC implant will also be designed to regulate hemodynamics through ultrasonic and electrical stimulation. Specifically, the neuromodulation capabilities of the MUSIC implant will be used to restore neurovascular regulation and neural function within the spinal cord.
In order to aid in the design of the cutting-edge ultrasound technology being implemented in the MUSIC device, the HEPIUS Innovation Center, in collaboration with Sonic Concepts Inc., utilizes various acoustic approaches to optimize device performance from both the hardware and software development perspective. By designing custom ultrasound transducers in conjunction with device simulations, we can continue to pioneer the field of ultrasound research.
The MUSIC implant will also be equipped to record and stimulate neural and electrical activity in the spinal cord. An array of electrodes incorporated into the MUSIC device will allow the recording of neural activity above and below the injury site. This function will provide insight into the severity of neural damage and allow visibility of any changes in neural function over time. Electrical stimulation will be used to promote neuroplasticity and immune cell migration to the wound.
The MUSIC device will also feature a state-of-the art, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the transmission of power and data to and from the wireless ultrasound implant.
Pre-clinical and Clinical Studies
Our team is performing numerous in vivo studies on spinal cord injury in small and large animals. After successfully investigating both the MUSIC and ACMI devices using animal models, the long-term goal will be to confirm the efficacy of these devices in humans.