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A Catalan consortium led by Starlab has developed a device that allows for computer-controlled electric stimulation of brain tissue, in order to carry out in vitro experiments into diseases that affect the nervous system, like Parkinson and Alzheimer. The other two partners are Industrial Innovation Microelectronics Design (I2M) and the Agustí Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS).

The prototype is applied to folds in the brain tissue in order to collect information through computer-controlled electric impulses, making it more flexible than traditional research techniques.

This new device is expected to lead to breakthroughs in research on diseases that affect millions of people, like epilepsy, Alzheimer and other dementias. The number of people suffering from these afflictions is predicted to increase 66% over the next 20 years.

The consortium is currently studying commercialization of the device. The project had a total budget of 850,000 euros, receiving support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ACC1Ó through their Technological Innovation Hubs program.

Starlab, which celebrates their tenth anniversary this year, is one of the most active companies in the BioRegion of Catalonia. Just over a year ago they received an innovation award at the HiTBarcelona congress for their groundbreaking wireless portable encephalographic system that helps diagnose and follow up on patients with epilepsy or sleep disorders without them having to leave the house (Enobio).

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