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DARPA Seeks Research Proposals on Next-Generation Neuromodulators

DARPAThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, through its Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program, has issued a request for research proposals from companies on new ways to monitor service members and veterans with chronic inflammatory and neurologic concerns.

Devices called neuromodulators can regulate and continuously monitor peripheral nerve activity, which the agency said Thursday are designed to vastly improve patient outcomes.

Current models, however, are surgically implanted and are known to produce side effects, DARPA said, adding that these, plus its size (as large as a pack of cards), has made neuromodulation a therapy of last resort.

The agency indicated that proposers should put forward ideas on how they would jump-start the technology to produce, for instance, “ultra-miniature,” minimally invasive versions of the devices.

“Many chronic illnesses occur when the body’s natural neuroelectrical and biochemical rhythms are disrupted, like playing wrong notes in music,” said Doug Weber, DARPA program manager.

“ElectRx seeks to understand what the ‘right notes’ are for each person and provide real-time treatment to help the patient achieve and enjoy a harmonious, healthy baseline.”

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