Horizontal electrodynamic scanning apparatus for detection of drug-induced seizures
A research team has developed a horizontal electrophysiology apparatus that can detect drugs at the molecular level and can be used to monitor seizures in humans, a key step toward a treatment for drug addiction.
The researchers have published their findings online in the journal Nature Communications.
The horizontal electrodynamics apparatus consists of a scanning instrument that can use a magnetic field to detect drugs, and the same instrument can be combined with electro-optical or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to image brain activity.
The apparatus is built on a special type of silicon that is relatively inexpensive and easily available.
It can be implanted under the skin, and is used to detect specific drugs at different levels of activity in the brain.
“We wanted to develop something that could be implanted in the skin and be very easily operated, that could detect drugs and then have a high degree of specificity,” said lead author Dr. Hyeon Soo Kim, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
“That’s the goal of this technology.”
The team developed a prototype that was implanted under a patient’s skin and can detect drug levels within 30 minutes.
The device is based on a combination of scanning techniques, including magnetoelectricity, which is an electrical field that moves the atoms in a liquid and causes them to emit electric currents.
A device that uses magnetic resonance images to detect drug activity can be seen in the figure.
The scanning instrument, or spectrograph, has a diameter of about 1 millimeter and can collect electro-photonic waves, which are the electric fields that cause the atoms to emit light.
The magnetic field generated by the device can be turned on and off, allowing the researchers to determine the intensity of the electric field.
The spectrograms can also collect a variety of chemical substances, including the neurotransmitter dopamine.
By combining this chemical information with the spectrographic data, the researchers were able to determine how the drug levels affected the brain activity of the patient.
“The imaging results can tell us how much dopamine is present in the patient, how much is metabolized by the brain, how many neurons are activated and how many are not,” said co-author Dr. James P. Ochs, a postdoctoral researcher at UT Austin and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biochemistry.
“The spectrometer also can tell you how much of the neurotransmitters that we detect in the blood are active in the drug-treated areas of the brain.”
The device is designed to detect a variety, from low levels of dopamine to higher levels.
When the drug level is high, the spectrometers are sensitive to spikes in the activity of individual neurons, and they can detect the activity in these areas.
The spectrogram can also detect whether the activity is linked to an epileptic seizure.
The device can also be used as a baseline for a drug screening test, and it can be adjusted to monitor for other types of drug use.
“What we’re really excited about is that the spectroscope is so inexpensive, the device has so many features that are so simple and easy to use,” said Ochss.
“It’s a really promising platform to get people off drugs and get them off drugs safely and effectively.”
The researchers hope to expand the spectroscopy capability of the device to detect different types of drugs.
This could allow them to better target drugs to different types and classes of brain cells, which could ultimately be used for the development of drugs that can be delivered in the body for treatment.
“It’s an exciting platform to develop drugs that are not only safe and effective but also can be given safely and efficiently to people with severe epilepsy,” said Kim.
“If we can help people live longer lives, we can achieve that goal.”
The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.