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2017

Taking Flight

A tunable, controllable microarray for mapping epileptic brain networks

Flavia Vitale, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Localization-related epilepsies account for the majority of patients with seizures, many of whom do not respond to medications. Surgery or treatment with implantable devices has the potential to make many patients seizure-free, but results are limited by our inability to precisely localize brain areas where seizures begin. Dr. Vitale has developed a new class of very small, flexible electrodes that can be independently controlled after they are implanted, allowing surgeons to safely map epileptic networks in the brain with high precision. With support from CURE, Dr. Vitale will build these new devices and test them in animal models of focal epilepsy, to detect and map seizure generation and spread. If successful, this exciting new technology could precisely localize seizure networks, and allow clinicians to focally ablate or suppress them with unprecedented accuracy, exactly where they are generated.