News Release 

CRANIA to host collaborative neuromodulation workshop with Novela Neurotech and Hahn-Schickard

CRANIA, Novela Neurotech and Hahn-Schickard unites to accelerate the translation of Novela's open source neuromodulation research kit

Novela Neurotech

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IMAGE: CRANIA is hosting a neuromodulation workshop with Novela and Hahn-Schickard view more 

Credit: CRANIA

TORONTO, ON -- February 6, 2020 - CRANIA - CenteR for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application, a world-class center for R&D, application and commercialization of neuromodulation innovations and interventions, championed by the University Health Network (UHN), Canada's largest research hospital, and the University of Toronto, a world-leading institution of higher learning and breakthrough research, is excited to announce that it will be hosting Novela Neurotech and Hahn-Schickard in a one-day workshop to introduce the neuromodulation community to the Open Source Wireless Neuromodulation Research Kit, a powerful new resource to advancing neuromodulation research.

The workshop in Toronto will consist of interactive talks and seminars, and will also include testimonials of researchers who have successfully set up experiments using the kit in their labs. Ten (10) complimentary kits will be provided to select attendees registered through Eventbrite to further test and optimize the setup through real-world recordings.

The workshop will be held on Friday, February 21 from 12:30 to 4:30 pm EST in Toronto at the University of Toronto. CRANIA, in support of Novela Neurotech and Hahn-Schickard, welcomes all members at all levels within the neuromodulation community to attend.

"Novela's neuromodulation research kit is a promising neural recording technology. With it being open sourced, the technology can be widely accessible to diverse research teams. CRANIA is delighted to support Novela and Hahn-Schickard, so that researchers can help to test and further optimize the smart electrode technology. This initiative fits well with CRANIA's mission, which is to accelerate the translation of innovative neuromodulation technologies to patient solutions as rapidly and as safely as possible," says Dr. Milos Popovic, Co-founding Director of CRANIA.

The Open-source Electrophysiology Kit

The research kit features a state-of-the-art wireless and flexible neural implant, bluetooth communication, and a software suite with smartphone integration. The electrode is modular in design and its development is guided by a roadmap to support up to 4000 channels for in vivo recording, as well as, to provide programmatically scheduled neurostimulation. All recorded data will be in the Neurodata Without Borders (NWB) 2.0 format, which is championed by major institutions such as HHMI, the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Kavli Foundation. The NWB2.0 format enables easy sharing within teams and across multi-team collaborations. More than ten years in the making, Novela is launching the kit as a valuable open-source tool to the neuromodulation research community.

"Obtaining clean, reliable and organized neural recordings is a crucial step in neuromodulation research, and we have packaged an entire room's worth of equipment into components that fit inside a human palm. The kit simplifies setup and lowers the barrier-to-entry for electrophysiology. By providing the kit to researchers open-sourced, we aim to support neuromodulation research and accelerate our understanding of the brain and the development of new therapies for neurological disorders," says Ray Iskander, CEO of Novela Neurotech.

Excellent Results

The Neuromodulation Research Kit is the result of over a decade of rigorous R&D first begun at the University of Waterloo. Recent post-production pilot tests, conducted for epilepsy research in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Carlen, a key member of CRANIA at the University Health Network (UHN)'s Krembil Research Institute, have proven the kit to be sensitive, reliable, and easy-to-use. Data and feedback from first-hand users will be presented at the workshop.

"Novela is providing us with outstanding wireless technology for recording brain activity in awake-behaving animals with excellent recording electrodes and very high data acquisition capture," says Dr. Carlen.

Adds Prof. Dr. Yiannos Manoli, Director at Hahn-Schickard, "With increasing global collaboration among neuroscientists, now is a critical time to synthesize findings from individual labs through standardized data formats. Novela not only provides a means to easily share neural recordings for collaborative processing and analysis, but also supplies a micro-fabricated, top line, tested-and-proven probe to support the effort. The collaboration with Hahn-Schickard provides a roadmap for increasing the electrode density using their fully integrated digital probes and incorporating neurostimulation in the kit."

Call for Collaboration

The workshop will offer testimonials and education toward using the Open Source Wireless Neuromodulation Research Kit.

"We began this journey over 10 years ago. Today, we are able to provide the kit to the research and academic community, open-sourced to promote further research. It is a dream come true," says Dr. Salam Gabran, co-founder and Director of Engineering at Novela Neurotech.

The CRANIA-hosted workshop invites all members at all levels of training in the neuromodulation community to attend. The project is actively seeking organizations and collaborators to apply the Research Kit in their field of neurophysiology, and welcomes feedback and other input to further develop and optimize components.

Ten select groups will be provided with a complimentary research kit to support their electrophysiology projects. In addition, CRANIA, Novela Neurotech, and Hahn-Schickard welcome additional collaborations to realize the goal of accelerating neurological findings and treatment through neurostimulation.

To book your spot in this workshop and to qualify for a complimentary kit, please register here.

To learn more about how you can collaborate with CRANIA or about CRANIA's Industry Partnership Day program contact info@CRANIA.ca. To learn more about this collaborative Open Source Wireless Neuromodulation Project and get involved, contact CRANIA at info@CRANIA.ca or Novela at open.neurokit@novelaneuro.com.

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Contact at CRANIA:

Al-Karim Rehemtula, MPH, MBA, MD(c)
al-karim.rehemtula@uhnresearch.ca

Contacts at Novela Neurotech:

Parisa Sabatian, PhD
PSabatien@novelaneuro.com

Shelly Fan, PhD
shelly.fan@novelaneuro.com

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