NIH Releases Program Announcement for Neurotechnology Research

The National Institutes of Health in early October released a new program announcement for Neurotechnology Research, Development, and Enhancement. The new initiative encourages multidisciplinary research efforts and involves several NIH institutes, including the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Aging.

The program announcement solicits “novel tools and approaches for the study of the development, structure, and function of the brain,” including hardware, software, and wetware technologies. The announcement cited several examples of research projects that would be appropriate for funding, including:

• MEMS devices used for monitoring neuron function in slice and culture preparations.
• Improved electrodes, microcomputer interfaces, and microcircuitry for chronic implantation, monitoring of neural activity, and promoting efferent function.
• Tools for real-time analysis of neurophysiological events.
• Biosensors that would be selectively activated by neurochemicals.
• Technologies for detection, intervention, and prevention of acute, adverse neurological events.
• Tools for early-warning detection of imminent seizure activity; application of targeted treatment to abort seizures.
• Telemetry devices small and light enough to be worn by mice for transmitting data during behavior.
• Amplifiers that are small and light enough to be worn by mice for recording neural activity from many neurons.



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