Synergia Medical, a Wallonia based startup company, received from the Walloon Region a cooperative research grant to develop their Next Generation Active Implantable Neurostimulator program for the treatment of Refractory Epilepsy using optoelectronic means for stimulation and sensing. Synergia Medical has teamed with fellow Wallonia based industrial partner PhysIOL and research partners BEAMS/ULB and IONS/UCL to bring together a strong consortium consisting of experts, each specialized in its own field providing the many disciplines necessary for such a multidisciplinary project: advanced optical systems, microelectronics fabrication, electronic design, mathematical processing, software design, biophysics, molecular biology, neurophysiology, biomaterials, animal experimentation and human therapy expertise. Synergia Medical aims to develop and place on the market a truly novel, first of its kind, optoelectronic neurostimulator improving the current existing therapy and crossing technological barriers that renders neurostimulation unpractical especially for magnetic resonance imaging. The neurostimulator will combine the very latest advances in biomaterials, optical components, biosensors and microelectronics.
Micro&Bio-Mechatronics research group (BEAMS/ULB) is leading various projects in the fields of active implantable devices, electro-stimulation, biomedical signal monitoring and processing, and physiological modelling. In this regard, the team contribution to the project will be of great help for signal processing hardware and software design, therapy improvement and physiological assessment of the device, in close collaboration with Synergia Medical and UCL.
The Institute of Neuroscience (IONS), through its Reference Centre for Refractory Epilepsy (CRE) of the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc (CUSL) allows the follow-up and the preoperative assessment for patients that are candidates for epilepsy surgery. This is one of the 4 centres approved in Belgium and its activity is one of the most important in this country. CRE performs about 20 resective surgeries and 20 VNS (Vagus
Nerve Stimulation) implantations per year. Besides the presurgical evaluation of refractory patients, the CRE treats over more than 800 epileptic patients. Moreover, they perform many, academic and commercial scientific research projects as well as several clinical trials with different pharma companies. They will study the improvement of the therapeutic effect of VNS and develop specific suitable animal models for this purpose. They will also conduct in vivo neurophysiological experiments through access of their animal infrastructure.Synergia Medical.