A bionic implant that will stop seizures in epilepsy sufferers before they happen is under development at the University of Wollongong.
Professor Gordon Wallace's team of medical bionics researchers are working with one of Australia's leading neurologists, Professor Mark Cook, on the innovative treatment.
"We are developing an implant to go into the brain that will respond to signals from the brain warning of an impending seizure," said Professor Wallace, director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES).
"It will respond by a localised delivery of drugs straight to the brain. This will allow much more potent and effective drugs to be used, and they will be going directly to where they are needed.
"Both the seizure detection and targeted drug delivery systems are great steps forward. Now we are coupling these technologies together so we have an automated system capable of responding to impending seizures and stopping them from occurring."
The implant is one of several emerging bionic and medical devices up for discussion at the Clinical Trials for Nanobionics forum at the UOW's Innovation Campus this Saturday.
Anyone with an interest in health and technology is invited to join researchers and bionic device recipients to discuss the devices being developed to treat a range of conditions including epilepsy, hearing loss, Parkinson's disease and visual impairment.
"We will ask participants to consider a range of current and emerging bionic devices and nano-medicines and the process in testing these devices and medicines prior to their use as standard medical care," said Susan Dodds, head of the ACES ethics program.
For more information or to register, visit electromaterials.edu.au.