Closed-loop bioelectrical neuromodulation control over bladder function

Research Opportunity
Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department
Medical Bionics Department
Location
Bionics Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Sophie Payne spayne@bionicsinstitute.org Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof James Fallon jfallon@bionicsinstitute.org Personal web page

Summary Controlling urination with a bionic device implanted onto nerves that innervate the bladder is a novel technique for the treatment of bladder incontinence/retention. An electrode array can be used to activate or inhibit neural signals in order to trigger or prevent urination. However, for this technology to be useful, precise timing of the application of electrical neuromodulation is essential.

Project Details

The urinary bladder stores urine produced by the kidneys and voids it from the body at behaviourally appropriate times (micturition). However, following prostectomy or colorectal resections, the nerves that control the process of urination are often damaged, leading to urinary incontinence or retention. Although not life threatening, this condition is socially debilitating and often leads to depression, anxiety and increased rates of suicide. Controlling urination with a bionic device implanted onto nerves that innervate the bladder is a novel technique for the treatment of bladder incontinence/retention. An electrode array can be used to activate or inhibit neural signals in order to trigger or prevent urination. However, for this technology to be useful, precise timing of the application of electrical neuromodulation is essential. Therefore, developing a recording feedback system that detects neural signals in order to allow accurate and timely delivery of the stimulation (i.e. closed loop) is highly advantageous. Ultimately, this technology will detect when a bladder is nearly full, and will send electrical signals to the bladder nerve to stimulate urination at an appropriate time. This project will use the rodent urogenital system to develop neural recording technology to be able to distinguish between different neural fibre types so that this technology can be utilized to develop closed-loop control over bladder function.

This project would suit honors or master students that have experience in the following disciplines: neuroscience; bioengineering; physiology; biomedical science.



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry, Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medical Bionics Department

Research Node

Bionics Institute

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