Neurotechnology: From Concept to Clinic

Course Number
BIBB 425 601
Course Code
Course Key
Serruya, Mijail
BIBB 109 or Permission of Instructor
Course Description
The nervous system, and in particular the brain, remains the least understood part of the human body and is also the site of devastating, irreversible injury and disease. This course reviews wearable and implantable medical devices and surgical techniques that have been developed to treat conditions of the nervous system. The course will begin with a review of human neuroanatomy and neurophysiology and proceed to establish benchmarks and context for evaluating device efficacy. Contrasts with pharmaceuticals and the emergence of “electroceuticals” will be discussed. An overview of the bench-to-bedside process will be provided and then we will cycle through a series of major neuro-related medical devices (cochlear implants, deep brain stimulators, epiretinal arrays, responsive neurostimulators, spinal cord stimulators, functional electrical stimulation), and surgical approaches (nerve grafts, tendon transfers). The course will conclude with a focus on brain-computer interfaces and autologous engineered neural constructs and explore the ethical and medical implications of implanting such devices in able-bodied people, bottlenecks in enhancement and critical evaluation of the idea of superintelligence. This course may be of interest to students interested in pursuing careers in medicine, artificial intelligence, and business.