Platform Neuroscience and Ecosystems: Strategies for Design and Translation of Bioelectronic Systems

A sandwich lunch will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

The total economic cost of neurological disorders exceeds £100B per annum in the UK alone, yet pharmaceutical companies continue to cut investment. The emerging field of bioelectronics suggests a novel alternative to pharmaceutical intervention by using electronic hardware to intelligently sense and stimulate the nervous system. I will summarise the challenges and opportunities of translational bioelectronic systems face when bridging basic science, regulated technology, and health care economics. This assessment motivates an innovation framework that leverages the unique capabilities of electronic platforms — from designing implantable scientific instruments that enable novel clinical neuroscience, to applying the resulting science to prototype new therapies. To provide an illustrative examples of the platform and innovation framework, I will highlight examples from the ‘Picostim-DyNeuMo’, a collaborative, investigational research tool co-developed by UK industry (Bioinduction Ltd, Finetech Medical Ltd) and academics based on Bioinduction’s Picostim platform. The Picostim-DyNeuMo is targeting first-in-human clinical studies exploring challenging neurological disorders such as epilepsy, chronic pain, and disorders of consciousness. The generality of the bioelectronic platform approach will be reinforced with examples from the broader nervous system including spinal cord injury and blood pressure management.