Scientific journal publications:

    M. Veletic and I. Balasingham, “Synaptic Communication Engineering for Future Cognitive Brain-machine Interfaces”, Proceedings of the IEEE, Volume 107, Issue 7, July 2019, pp. 1425-1441. [IF = 9.107]

    Abstract: Disease-affected nervous systems exhibit anatomical or physiological impairments that degrade processing, transfer, storage, and retrieval of neural information, leading to physical or intellectual disabilities. Brain implants may potentially promote clinical means for detecting and treating neurological symptoms by establishing direct communication between the nervous and artificial systems. Current technology can modify the neural function at the supracellular level as in Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and depression. However, recent advances in nanotechnology, nanomaterials, and molecular communications have the potential to enable brain implants to preserve the neural function at the subcellular level, which could increase effectiveness, decrease energy consumption, and make the leadless devices chargeable from outside the body or by utilizing the body’s own energy sources. In this paper, we focus on understanding the principles of elemental processes in synapses to enable diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases with pathological conditions using biomimetic synaptically interactive brain–machine interfaces (BMIs). First, we provide an overview of the synaptic communication system, followed by an outline of brain diseases that promote dysfunction in the synaptic communication system. Then, we discuss the technologies for brain implants and propose future directions for the design and fabrication of cognitive BMIs. The overarching goal of this paper is to summarize the status of engineering research at the interface between the technology and the nervous system and direct the ongoing research toward the point where synaptically interactive BMIs can be embedded in the nervous system.

    Paper Figure 1

    Peer-reviewed proceedings:

    M. Veletic, M. T. Barros, I. Balasingham, S. Balasubramaniam, “A Molecular Communication Model of Exosome-mediated Brain Drug Delivery”, in Proceedings of the Sixth Annual ACM International Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication, Dublin, Ireland, September 2019. (Annex 9.2)

    Abstract: Novel implantable and externally controllable bio-nanomachines-based treatment strategies for Glioblastoma brain cancer have been proposed recently to bring hope to patients who suffer from this devastating cancer type. The main challenges in developing such strategies lie in both crossing the stringent Blood-Brain Barrier and maximizing the drug concentration at particular sites rich in Glioblastoma cells within safety guidelines. Aiming to provide a first step towards the realization of such a novel treatment method, here we propose analytical models to characterize and analyze an exosome-mediated brain drug delivery molecular communication system. We consider biophysical models and derive the closed-form transfer functions for a communication system that comprises of the engineered neural stem cells that release exosomes into the extracellular space in the brain and Glioblastoma-like cells that collect exosomes from the extracellular space in the brain. The presented numerical results show a dependency of the exosome propagation on various hindrance sources in the extracellular space and a limited operation performance at high frequencies that refer to the exosome concentration dynamics. The collection of exosomes by Glioblastoma-like cells show a dependency on high and stable exosome concentration in the extracellular space and low-frequency operation for a reasonable performance output.

    Paper Figure 2

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