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Helius Medical's Kim Skininer on neuroplasticity with a wearable device

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Release Date: 09/05/2023

Florian Solzbacher on the $10 million Blackrock Neurotech investment and plans for future show art Florian Solzbacher on the $10 million Blackrock Neurotech investment and plans for future

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is the Co-Founder and Chairman of which has the Utah Electrode Array, the only FDA-approved neural implantable device. Blackrock Neurotech recently closed a $10 million financing round, led by Christian Angermayer's re.Mind Capital with participation from Peter Thiel, German entrepreneur Tim Sievers, and Sorenson Impact's University Venture Fund II.   Top 3 Takeaways "In the end, you have to have the drive. It has to be a passion. And then you will find a way because very often in life, you will find that, just when you need it, all that you really need is one door opening at the right...

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Thomas Oxley on the best neural device implantation method with his Stentrode by Synchron show art Thomas Oxley on the best neural device implantation method with his Stentrode by Synchron

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is a neurosurgeon who is also the founder of Synchron which makes the . Instead of requiring invasive brain surgery for implantable neural devices, they are able to use stents such as those used in cardiology to collect neural signals   Top 3 Takeaways: Stentrode implantation it's one of the simplest stent procedures. Got a $40 million Series B funding round from Khosla Ventures thanks to the success of in-human studies as well as the potential to piggyback off of existing hospital technologies "We see an avenue for a range of products that do not require open brain surgery that reaches...

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Giovanni Lauricella on how to be recruited to a great startup in neurotech show art Giovanni Lauricella on how to be recruited to a great startup in neurotech

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Giovanni Lauricella is a Vice President of the Mullings Group which is a Medical Device Technology recruitment firm. He helps startups in the neurotech space find talented people from the most experienced down to the entry-level positions.   Top 3 Takeaways: "Always pull on your network, always pull on that trust factor because people go to work for people. That's what they do, especially in startups and especially really early-stage startups" "If you want to be headhunted, make yourself available to be found, build your LinkedIn profile. Let us find you, there's tools and platforms...

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Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is the founder and CEO of which uses imaging tools to understand the brain in both health and disease.    Top Three Takeaways: Miniscopes were invented out of a need for tools that have the ability to monitor and record large-scale neural circuit activity Imaging tools have the advantage of scale, single-cell resolution, longitudinal recording capabilities, and labelling for specific cell types Inscopix technology has enabled over 150 scientific papers   0:45 "Do you wanna introduce yourself a little bit?"  5:00 "Why you did choose an imaging technique instead of,...

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Dr Ulrich Hofmann on staying in the mainstream but exploring the fringes of Neurotechnology show art Dr Ulrich Hofmann on staying in the mainstream but exploring the fringes of Neurotechnology

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is a Professor at the in Germany working on some of the cutting edge and newest things in the field of neurotechnology.   Top Three Takeaways The 8 micron limit for not causing a foreign body response might actually be closer to 1 micron Magnetoelectric nanoparticles might be the solution towards getting to the dream of having a 0 dimensional neural probe Neural Implants seem to activate those genes found in brain tumors   3:00 "You're working in Freiburg, which is bottom southwest corner of Germany, but I actually just found out that you don't live there. Where do you live?"...

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Blythe Karow on alleviating PTSD using a wearable Vagus nerve stimulator show art Blythe Karow on alleviating PTSD using a wearable Vagus nerve stimulator

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is a medical device veteran who is now the cofounder and CEO of , a medical device company making a wearable Vagus Nerve Stimulator to help with the problems brought about by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   Top 3 Takeaways Not only veterans but first responders often get PTSD and 1/9 women will have it at some point in their lives Stimulating the auricular (ear) branch of the Vagus nerve has fewer side effects but with a calming effect on the body Diagnosing and curing PTSD is very difficult and subjective   1:15 "Do you want to introduce yourself and the technology?"...

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Nicolas Vachicouras on starting a soft electrode neurotech company in Switzerland show art Nicolas Vachicouras on starting a soft electrode neurotech company in Switzerland

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Nicolas Vachicouras is the cofounder of which is focusing on utilizing a novel soft electrode material in neural implants. The company comes out of Switzerland and has partnerships with the Stephanie Lacour lab and the Wyss Center   1:45 "Do you want to talk a little bit about yourself and your work and Neurosoft?" 4:30 "What's the benefit of soft versus hard implant?" 7:00 "Is the foreign body response, something that happens in ECOG as well, does the body react poorly to that?" 9:45 "So your guys device also doesn't have MRI artifacts. What is that? How is that and why is it...

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Anish Kaushal on what Venture Capitalists are looking for in Neurotech Companies show art Anish Kaushal on what Venture Capitalists are looking for in Neurotech Companies

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is an analyst at Amplitude VC which is looking at investing in neurotech companies. In this episode we talk about what they look for when investing into a company   1:30 "Do you want to introduce yourself a little bit? " 10:30 "How is venture capital different in med tech versus Silicon Valley?" 14:15 "So you guys do, would you say that you guys put more research upfront into investments vs Silicon Valley-style investors?" 16:30 "Due Diligence for, six months or a year, what are you doing during that time? What takes so long?" 21:30 "If somebody wants to be like the best candidate, what...

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Dr Silvestro Micera on restoring sensorimotor function using hybrid neuroprosthetic systems show art Dr Silvestro Micera on restoring sensorimotor function using hybrid neuroprosthetic systems

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is a professor at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland focusing on developing neural interface implantations in patients. In particular, the following research fields are currently investigated: robotic systems for neurorehabilitation experiments for the investigation of neural control of movement development of neural interfaces with the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). development of hybrid neuro-prosthetic systems   1:15 “Do you want to explain your work?” 2:25 “You guys are very much into the compliant...

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Dr Warren Grill on how to publish 250 papers in neural engineering show art Dr Warren Grill on how to publish 250 papers in neural engineering

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

is a professor of biomedical engineering at duke university. He is the chief scientific officer of Managing director of NDI Healthcare fund. He is the cofounder and chief scientific officer of Deep Brain innovations and His research interests are in neural engineering and neural prostheses including design and testing of electrodes and stimulation techniques, the electrical properties of tissues and cells, and computational neuroscience with applications in the restoration of bladder function, treatment of movement disorders with deep brain stimulation, and multi-joint limb movement. He has...

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RehabWeek Exclusive interview the Kim Skinner
Kim Skinner is the Director of Physical Therapy at Helius Medical Technologies where she is instrumental in the introduction of the PoNS rehabilitation program. Prior to this she was the Physical Therapy Director and Researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison working with sensory processing and neurological disorders. She holds a PhD in Physical Therapy and Health Sciences and maintains her license in physical therapy. We met up with Kim at RehabWeek and had a conversation about the company, the rehabilitation science of the PoNS device and where it is going in the future.

Takeaways:
Harnessing neuroplasticity in rehabilitation stimulation must be paired with an activity.
Clinical interfaces need to intuitive and easy to use for the clinician.
How is your brain today? Can we bring people to check their brain health like they check their smartphone?


[0:00] Introduction and Jen French from Neurotech Reports kicks off the conversation RehabWeek exhibit floor at Helius Medical.
[0:25] Kim Skinner introduces herself and Helius Medical and new PoNS device. She worked in the initial research for the device.
[1:12] Description of the PoNS device components, how it works and the target indications and clinical application of mild to moderate brain injury with chronic balance deficits. They designed a 14-week rehabilitation program harnessing neuroplasticity.
[4:10] Further discussion about application of the technology to other indications that have balance issues. Their initial focus is on the brain injury population, but more research needs to be done on how this can benefit other populations.
[5:18] Discussion of the design of their clinical trials and some of the challenges associated with that both in the clinical and at home. They have a training template that can be individualized for each patient.
[6:39] Skinner further describes the training protocols and when to stimulation to maximize outcomes couples with balance training and movement exercises to prime the brain.
[8:26] The stimulating device goes onto the tongue rather than skin. How does that feel or taste? She also talks about the stimulation pattern and parameters as well as
[9:53] Discussion of the 143 electrode array design and how they mapped the tongue to figure out the stimulating rate.
[12:19] The visual substitution device was the predecessor of this device and how it evolved out of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
[13:16] Skinner talks about where the PoNS device is currently available with a prescription and how they are working on availability in the US, Europe and Australia. It is currently approved in Canada through the HeuroCanada clinics.