Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University’s Institute of Micromanufacturing Dr. Prabhu Arumugam has received nearly $1.8 million from the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to continue developing implantable biosensor neural probes in a way that is new and different.
Because Phase I went so well, this big grant will pay for the start of Phase II of the research. As with Phase I, which involved students and faculty from different engineering fields working together to make a stronger microarray probe with a microfluidic delivery method and better results for neurochemical monitoring, Phase II will be a group effort involving research at Louisiana Tech, at other universities, and with business partners.
They will be working together with Dr. Teresa Murray (Interim Academic Director for Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science) and Dr. Shabnam Siddiqui (Research Associate Professor at the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science) during Phase II to make the probes work better in well-e.
The main focus of this research is coming up with new ideas for neuro probes. This project could completely change how we think about the human brain and help us find better ways to treat neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and dementia. The successful completion of Phase I, which focused on prototyping proof-of-concept probes and received more than $200,000 in funding, made it possible for Phase II to get more money. NeuroNexus and Alcorix Co, two companies in the same industry, will help microfabricate, package, and ship the finished product.
Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Science Dr. Collin Wick said, “I am so proud of Dr. Arumugam’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence, which have been so important to the success of this research.” It’s now much easier to study the complicated parts of the human brain thanks to the neuro probes that were made in his lab. The NINDS and NIH are confident in the project’s potential, as shown by this Phase II STTR funding. It also shows how knowledgeable and dedicated Dr. Arumugam is, as well as how well the students who work in his, Dr. Murray’s, and Dr. Siddiqui’s labs at Louisiana Tech learn. These skills will help students do well in graduate school and in the job market.
The support of business partners makes the neuro probes’ usefulness and commercial potential even clearer. This group work goes beyond the classroom and strengthens Louisiana Tech’s position as a leader in innovation that connects research to applications in the real world. The University continues to push the limits of knowledge and encourage collaboration across many fields thanks to researchers like Arumugam who are always coming up with new ideas.