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This podcast's purpose is to bring together the field of neuroprosthetics/brain machine interfaces/brain implants in an understandable conversation about the current topics and breakthroughs.

We hope to replace needing to read scientific papers on new research in an easy to digest way.

People can share thoughts or ideas to facilitate 'idea sex' to make the field of brain implants a smaller and more personal space.

Sep 21, 2020

This week’s guests from NICO Corporation are Jim Pearson, who is the founder, president, and CEO, and Joseph Mark, CTO. The third guest is Dr. Julian Bailes, part of the NorthShore University Health System as Co-Director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute. The NICO Corporation is based in Indianapolis. Their technology has been used in over 35,000 brain surgeries, published in 100+ clinical articles, and they have been awarded hundreds of patents on their technology and surgical methodologies. In this episode, Jim Pearson, Dr. Julian Bailes, and Joseph Mark discuss how NICO Corporation is innovating brain surgery. 

Top three takeaways: 

  1. The brain is the last and only major organ in the human body left to not have a Minimally Invasive approach. NICO is changing this through the use of their interventional technology coupled with advanced imaging. The brain’s fiber tracks can be identified, and these images are then coupled with NICO’s technology allowing imaging and intervention to be used simultaneously, resulting in more effective and safe brain surgeries.    
  2. NICO Corporation has developed technologies and a brain surgery approach that displaces tissue using the natural folds to gain access rather than slicing through it and it has successfully been used over 35,000 brain surgeries. 
  3. Their current technology has solved the demanding problem of internal safe access to deep areas in the brain to remove a tumor or a blood clot. Now, their next challenge is about “putting technology into the brain”.  They are at the cutting edge of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) and they are accomplishing this by being the first to implant a computer chip deep in the brain (not just on the surface) where 99% of the functioning of the brain occurs.   

[0:00] Ladan introduces the episode and the guests, Jim Pearson, Joseph Mark, and Dr. Julian Bailes.  

[3:35] Jim Pearson discusses the start of NICO Corporation.  

[5:25] Dr. Julian Bailes tells of his experience as a neurosurgeon working with NICO Corporation.   

[7:30] Joseph Mark describes the process of designing devices that provide safe access to the brain. 

[10:00] The displacement method does not cut through tissue but rather moves it while keeping it intact.  

[13:10] Other aspects such as tissue preservation and biological preservation are beginning to show importance in brain tumor research.  

[16:20] Their next project is to implant a murine model in a rat to show that it is possible to get in and out of the deepest areas of the brain without compromising brain function. This is where 99% of the functionality is and the most important aspect of the brain.

[18:17] For human patients, the access portals are 11 and 13.5 millimeters in diameter; and these values are scaled down for animal implants. 

[21:30] The future of NICO Corporation is finding ways to surgically place things into the brain causing the least damage and minimizing invasion. 

[24:00] Their current focus is a major trial on hemorrhagic strokes, which Dr.Bailes is a part of. 

[27:20] The group seeks to find what effect the mechanical interfaces have on the final results of the brain surgery. 

[31:15] The NICO Corporation ensures that each customer of their devices is properly trained before use.