Affilliation: Research Platforms Director, Bioelectronics R&D,
Victor Pikov leads the development of wirelessly-powered implantable Research Platforms to enable preclinical and clinical Bioelectronics research within GSK and jointly with multiple academic, commercial, and regulatory research partners. Victor has a doctorate degree from Georgetown University, where he studied the spinal control of bladder voiding. During postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, he developed an optogenetic viral vector for neuronal stimulation. At the Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Victor’s research focused on evaluating various implantable devices for neural stimulation and recording in the PNS and CNS aiming at treating such chronic diseases as infertility, bladder paralysis, bladder spasticity/hyperreflexia, hearing and vision loss, tinnitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and obesity. Victor holds patent applications for non-invasive glucose measurement in the skin, neuromodulation for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and a microfluidic nerve cuff interface.
Talk Title: Engineering challenges in developing miniaturized closed-loop neuromodulation devices for peripheral nerves
Bioelectronic Medicine is a new medical filed being explored by GlaxoSmithKline that aims to treat a wide range of chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, and asthma, with tiny implants. We hope that one day these implants will be able to intercept the electrical signals transmitted along the nerves and correct them in order to normalize the function of internal organs, affected by the disease. For example, abnormal neural signals travelling from the brain to the lungs can be intercepted and blocked prior to reaching the bronchi and keeping them open to prevent asthma.
In order to achieve their full potential, implantable neuromodulation devices must be carefully architected for a tight anatomical fit, minimally-invasive implantation, long-term biocompatibility and reliability, lack of unintended effects, reduced invasiveness, and tunability for variable organ function in each individual over time.
Some of these challenges can be addressed by employing flexible, biocompatible, and degradation-resistant materials, novel fabrication and packaging processes, and advances in the chip and battery miniaturization. Efforts relevant to the BrainCAS community are being directed toward development of circuits for low-power charge-balanced high-frequency stimulation and low-input-noise and wide-dynamic-range neural recording, signal processing algorithms with low computational load, wireless power transfer solutions for deep tissue penetration, and creation of sensitive and adaptive biosensor technology for monitoring the disease symptoms and dosing the neuromodulation therapy. Ultimate success of the Bioelectronic Medicine to a large extent is dependent upon these innovative engineering solutions.