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Bioelectrics News

Another NIH Grant Award for Early-Stage Neuromodulation Research

June 29th, 2023

Dr. Andrei Pakhomov was awarded a second 3-year, $640,000 R21 grant to explore a new concept of selective but non-invasive targeting of electric stimuli. The project is titled "Next Generation Temporal Interference Stimulation for Non-Invasive Neuromodulation" and is part of NIH Brain Initiative program.

The long-standing pursuit of non-invasive, targeted deep brain electrical stimulation has wide-ranging implications for treating brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, and depression. The challenge is avoiding stimulation near surface electrodes, where the electric field is the strongest, while stimulating at a depth with a much weaker electric field.

The conventional temporal interference (TI) method employs two high-frequency sine waves with a slight frequency offset. These sine waves merge remotely to generate amplitude "beats" and excitation at the offset frequency.

Dr. Pakhomov proposed a new, next-generation TI concept (NG-TI) which utilizes two identical signals that are intermittently disrupted by brief frequency or phase shifts. These signals will traverse the skin and skull, coalescing into an effective local stimulus at the cortex or deep brain targets.

The project will systematically analyze the impact of the NG-TI stimulation parameters, to achieve targeted tuning and modulation of individual neurons and neuronal circuitry. Compared to the conventional TI and other known methods, NG-TI is expected to produce more focused and steerable stimulation with few off-target effects. This project will deliver new mechanistic knowledge and lay the ground for NG-TI trials in large animals and humans.

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