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Gabran S.R.I.,University of Waterloo | Salam M.T.,University of Toronto | Dian J.,University of Toronto | El-Hayek Y.,University of Toronto | And 5 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering | Year: 2013

Intracortical microelectrodes play a prominent role in the operation of neural interfacing systems. They provide an interface for recording neural activities and modulating their behavior through electric stimulation. The performance of such systems is thus directly meliorated by advances in electrode technology. We present a new architecture for intracortical electrodes designed to increase the number of recording/stimulation channels for a given set of shank dimensions. The architecture was implemented on silicon using microfabrication process and fabricated 3-mm-long electrode shanks with six relatively large (110\ \mu{\hbox {m}}\times 110\ \mu{\hbox {m}}) pads in each shank for electrographic signal recording to detect important precursors with potential clinical relevance and electrical stimulation to correct neural behavior with low-power dissipation in an implantable device. Moreover, an electrode mechanical design was developed to increase its stiffness and reduce shank deflection to improve spatial accuracy during an electrode implantation. Furthermore, the pads were post-processed using pulsated low current electroplating and reduced their impedances by \sim 30 times compared to the traditionally fabricated pads. The paper also presents microfabrication process, electrodes characterization, comparison to the commercial equivalents, and in vitro and in vivo validations. © 2013 IEEE. Source

Gabran S.R.I.,University of Waterloo | Salam M.T.,University of Toronto | Dian J.,University of Toronto | El-Hayek Y.,University of Toronto | And 5 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering | Year: 2014

We introduce a new 3-D flexible microelectrode array for high performance electrographic neural signal recording and stimulation. The microelectrode architecture maximizes the number of channels on each shank and minimizes its footprint. The electrode was implemented on flexible polyimide substrate using microfabrication and thin-film processing. The electrode has a planar layout and comprises multiple shanks. Each shank is three mm in length and carries six gold pads representing the neuro-interfacing channels. The channels are used in recording important precursors with potential clinical relevance and consequent electrical stimulation to perturb the clinical condition. The polyimide structure satisfied the mechanical characteristics required for the proper electrode implantation and operation. Pad postprocessing technique was developed to improve the electrode electrical performance. The planar electrodes were used for creating 3-D "Waterloo Array" microelectrode with controlled gaps using custom designed stackers. Electrode characterization and benchmarking against commercial equivalents demonstrated the superiority of the Flex electrodes. The Flex and commercial electrodes were associated with low-power implantable responsive neuro-stimulation system. The electrodes performance in recording and stimulation application was quantified through in vitro and in vivo acute and chronic experiments on human brain slices and freely-moving rodents. The Flex electrodes exhibited remarkable drop in the electric impedance (100 times at 100 Hz), improved electrode-electrolyte interface noise (dropped by four times) and higher signal-to-noise ratio (3.3 times). © 2014 IEEE. Source

Todd R.M.,University of British Columbia | Taylor M.J.,Hospital for Sick Children | Taylor M.J.,Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute | Taylor M.J.,University of Toronto | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

It is well known that we continuously filter incoming sensory information, selectively allocating attention to what is important while suppressing distracting or irrelevant information. Yet questions remain about spatiotemporal patterns of neural processes underlying attentional biases toward emotionally significant aspects of the world. One index of affectively biased attention is an emotional variant of an attentional blink (AB) paradigm, which reveals enhanced perceptual encoding for emotionally salient over neutral stimuli under conditions of limited executive attention. The present study took advantage of the high spatial and temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural activation related to emotional and neutral targets in an AB task. MEG data were collected while participants performed a rapid stimulus visual presentation task in which two target stimuli were embedded in a stream of distractor words. The first target (T1) was a number and the second (T2) either an emotionally salient or neutral word. Behavioural results replicated previous findings of greater accuracy for emotionally salient than neutral T2 words. MEG source analyses showed that activation in orbitofrontal cortex, characterized by greater power in the theta and alpha bands, and dorsolateral prefrontal activation were associated with successful perceptual encoding of emotionally salient relative to neutral words. These effects were observed between 250 and 550 ms, latencies associated with discrimination of perceived from unperceived stimuli. These data suggest that important nodes of both emotional salience and frontoparietal executive systems are associated with the emotional modulation of the attentional blink. © 2014 Todd et al. Source

Chakkarapani E.,University of British Columbia | Chakkarapani E.,University of Bristol | Poskitt K.J.,University of British Columbia | Miller S.P.,University of British Columbia | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Child Neurology | Year: 2016

In cooled newborns with encephalopathy, although late magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan (10-14 days of age) is reliable in predicting long-term outcome, it is unknown whether early scan (3-6 days of life) is. We compared the predominant pattern and extent of lesion between early and late MRI in 89 term neonates with neonatal encephalopathy. Forty-three neonates (48%) were cooled. The predominant pattern of lesions and the extent of lesion in the watershed region agreed near perfectly in noncooled (kappa = 0.94; k = 0.88) and cooled (k = 0.89; k = 0.87) infants respectively. There was perfect agreement in the extent of lesion in the basal nuclei in noncooled infants (k = 0.83) and excellent agreement in cooled infants (k = 0.67). Changes in extent of lesions on late MRI occurred in 19 of 89 infants, with higher risk in infants with hypoglycemia and moderate-severe lesions in basal nuclei. In most term neonates with neonatal encephalopathy, early MRI (relative to late scan) robustly predicts the predominant pattern and extent of injury. © The Author(s) 2015. Source

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