INBRAIN Neuroelectronics, a spin-off of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and ICREA, has received €1 Million in funding from Sabadell Asabys and Alta Life Sciences, as well as ICF and Finaves, which will allow the company to speed up the development of novel graphene-based implants to optimize the treatment of brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s and epilepsy.
INBRAIN Neuroelectronics was established in 2019 with the mission of developing brain-implants based on graphene technology for application in patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and other neuronal diseases. These smart devices, built around an innovative graphene electrode, will decode with high certainty neural signals from the brain and produce a therapeutic response adapted to the clinical condition of the specific patient.
The company is designing the least invasive and smartest neural interface that, powered by artificial intelligence and the use of Big Data, will have the ability to read and modulate brain activity, detect specific biomarkers, and trigger adaptive responses to deliver optimal results in personalised neurological therapies. So far, the technology has been validated in in-vitro and in-vivo biocompatibility and toxicity tests and has been successfully used to complete studies on small animals. Recently, INBRAIN began tests on large animals with the aim of ensuring that these graphene devices are safe as well as superior to current solutions based on metals such as platinum and iridium. The company also plans to start human studies soon.
INBRAIN was founded, among others, by ICREA Prof. Jose Garrido, leader of the ICN2 Advanced Electronic Materials and Devices Group, Prof. Kostas Kostarelos, leader of the ICN2 Nanomedicine Group, and Dr. Anton Guimerà, a researcher at the Spanish National Centre of Microelectronics (IMB-CNM).
“Within the framework of the Graphene Flagship, which is a European macroproject”, explains Prof. Garrido, “we were able to develop this novel graphene-based technology that will allow measuring and stimulating neuronal activity in the brain with a resolution much higher than that of current commercial technologies”.
Throughout 2019, the incorporation of INBRAIN was a priority project for the ICN2 Business and Innovation Department, which coordinated the technology transfer process and successfully orchestrated the licensing of this high-potential technology.
“Minimally invasive electronic therapies represent a revolutionary alternative with less potential cost for health systems,” comments Carolina Aguilar, CEO of INBRAIN and a former global executive at Medtronic in the field of neuro-stimulation. “In our case, the application of new 2D materials such as graphene represents a real opportunity to understand the brain workings in order to optimise and personalize the treatment.”