Researchers Develop Wireless Networks That Allow Brain Circuits to Be Controlled Remotely Through the Internet
Summary:A new system that combines neural implants with the internet of things can remotely control the brain circuits of numerous animals across the globe simultaneously and independently via the web.
new study shows that researchers can remotely control the brain
circuits of numerous animals simultaneously and independently through
the internet. The scientists believe this newly developed technology can
speed up brain research and various neuroscience studies to uncover
basic brain functions as well as the underpinnings of various
neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders.
multidisciplinary team of researchers at KAIST, Washington University
in St. Louis, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, created a
wireless ecosystem with its own wireless implantable devices and
Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure to enable high-throughput
neuroscience experiments over the internet. This innovative technology
could enable scientists to manipulate the brains of animals from
anywhere around the world.
The study was published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on November 25.
novel technology is highly versatile and adaptive. It can remotely
control numerous neural implants and laboratory tools in real-time or in
a scheduled way without direct human interactions,” said Professor
Jae-Woong Jeong of the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST and a
senior author of the study. “These wireless neural devices and equipment
integrated with IoT technology have enormous potential for science and
wireless ecosystem only requires a mini-computer that can be purchased
for under $45, which connects to the internet and communicates with
wireless multifunctional brain probes or other types of conventional
laboratory equipment using IoT control modules. By optimally integrating
the versatility and modular construction of both unique IoT hardware
and software within a single ecosystem, this wireless technology offers
new applications that have not been demonstrated before by a single
standalone technology. This includes, but is not limited to minimalistic
hardware, global remote access, selective and scheduled experiments,
customizable automation, and high-throughput scalability.
long as researchers have internet access, they are able to trigger,
customize, stop, validate, and store the outcomes of large experiments
at any time and from anywhere in the world. They can remotely perform
large-scale neuroscience experiments in animals deployed in multiple
countries,” said one of the lead authors, Dr. Raza Qazi, a researcher
with KAIST and the University of Colorado, Boulder. “The low cost of
this system allows it to be easily adopted and can further fuel
innovation across many laboratories,” Dr. Qazi added.
of the significant advantages of this IoT neurotechnology is its
ability to be mass deployed across the globe due to its minimalistic
hardware, low setup cost, ease of use, and customizable versatility.
Scientists across the world can quickly implement this technology within
their existing laboratories with minimal budget concerns to achieve
globally remote access, scalable experimental automation, or both, thus
potentially reducing the time needed to unravel various neuroscientific
challenges such as those associated with intractable neurological
senior author on the study, Professor Jordan McCall from the Department
of Anesthesiology and Center for Clinical Pharmacology at Washington
University in St. Louis, said this technology has the potential to
change how basic neuroscience studies are performed. “One of the biggest
limitations when trying to understand how the mammalian brain works is
that we have to study these functions in unnatural conditions. This
technology brings us one step closer to performing important studies
without direct human interaction with the study subjects.”
ability to remotely schedule experiments moves toward automating these
types of experiments. Dr. Kyle Parker, an instructor at Washington
University in St. Louis and another lead author on the study added,
“This experimental automation can potentially help us reduce the number
of animals used in biomedical research by reducing the variability
introduced by various experimenters. This is especially important given
our moral imperative to seek research designs that enable this
researchers believe this wireless technology may open new opportunities
for many applications including brain research, pharmaceuticals, and
telemedicine to treat diseases in the brain and other organs remotely.
This remote automation technology could become even more valuable when
many labs need to shut down, such as during the height of the COVID-19
work was supported by grants from the KAIST Global Singularity Research
Program, the National Research Foundation of Korea, the United States
National Institute of Health, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
About this neurotech research news
Author:Younghye Cho Source:KAIST Contact:Younghye Cho – KAIST Image:The image is credited to KAIST
Original Research:Closed access. “Scalable and modular wireless-network infrastructure for large-scale behavioral neuroscience”
by Raza Qazi, Kyle E. Parker, Choong Yeon Kim, Ruediger Rill, Makenzie
R. Norris, Jaeyoon Chung, John Bilbily, Jenny R. Kim, Marie C. Walicki,
Graydon B. Gereau, Hyoyoung Lim, Yanyu Xiong, Jenna R. Lee, Melissa A.
Tapia, Alexxai V. Kravitz, Matthew J. Will, Sangtae Ha, Jordan G. McCall
& Jae-Woong Jeong.Nature Biomedical Engineering