Research Update: Laser makes a kinder, gentler neural interface
Laser-technology company Aculight and Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) have won a contract from the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) to develop a compact, low-cost neural stimulator. The device would assist in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and other conditions without causing the tissue damage that electrical stimulation can cause. The company's fiber-coupled laser generates pulsed, midinfrared light, enabling better spatial precision than electrical stimulators. The device will allow medical researchers and physicians to activate individual nerves, according to Aculight.