Nonresonant powering of injectable nanoelectrodes enables wireless deep brain stimulation in freely moving mice

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Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eabc4189
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc4189


Devices that electrically modulate the deep brain have enabled important breakthroughs in the management of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Such devices are typically centimeter-scale, requiring surgical implantation and wired-in powering, which increases the risk of hemorrhage, infection, and damage during daily activity. Using smaller, remotely powered materials could lead to less invasive neuromodulation. Here, we present injectable, magnetoelectric nanoelectrodes that wirelessly transmit electrical signals to the brain in response to an external magnetic field. This mechanism of modulation requires no genetic modification of neural tissue, allows animals to freely move during stimulation, and uses nonresonant carrier frequencies. Using these nanoelectrodes, we demonstrate neuronal modulation in vitro and in deep brain targets in vivo. We also show that local subthalamic modulation promotes modulation in other regions connected via basal ganglia circuitry, leading to behavioral changes in mice. Magnetoelectric materials present a versatile platform technology for less invasive, deep brain neuromodulation.

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