Bioelectronic Medicine: a multidisciplinary roadmap from biophysics to precision therapies

María Alejandra González-González, Silvia V. Conde, Ramon Latorre, Stéphanie C. Thébault, Marta Pratelli, Nicholas C. Spitzer, Alexei Verkhratsky, Marie Ève Tremblay, Cuneyt G. Akcora, Ana G. Hernández-Reynoso, Melanie Ecker, Jayme Coates, Kathleen L. Vincent, Brandy Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bioelectronic Medicine stands as an emerging field that rapidly evolves and offers distinctive clinical benefits, alongside unique challenges. It consists of the modulation of the nervous system by precise delivery of electrical current for the treatment of clinical conditions, such as post-stroke movement recovery or drug-resistant disorders. The unquestionable clinical impact of Bioelectronic Medicine is underscored by the successful translation to humans in the last decades, and the long list of preclinical studies. Given the emergency of accelerating the progress in new neuromodulation treatments (i.e., drug-resistant hypertension, autoimmune and degenerative diseases), collaboration between multiple fields is imperative. This work intends to foster multidisciplinary work and bring together different fields to provide the fundamental basis underlying Bioelectronic Medicine. In this review we will go from the biophysics of the cell membrane, which we consider the inner core of neuromodulation, to patient care. We will discuss the recently discovered mechanism of neurotransmission switching and how it will impact neuromodulation design, and we will provide an update on neuronal and glial basis in health and disease. The advances in biomedical technology have facilitated the collection of large amounts of data, thereby introducing new challenges in data analysis. We will discuss the current approaches and challenges in high throughput data analysis, encompassing big data, networks, artificial intelligence, and internet of things. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the electrochemical properties of neural interfaces, along with the integration of biocompatible and reliable materials and compliance with biomedical regulations for translational applications. Preclinical validation is foundational to the translational process, and we will discuss the critical aspects of such animal studies. Finally, we will focus on the patient point-of-care and challenges in neuromodulation as the ultimate goal of bioelectronic medicine. This review is a call to scientists from different fields to work together with a common endeavor: accelerate the decoding and modulation of the nervous system in a new era of therapeutic possibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1321872
JournalFrontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Keywords

  • biocompatible materials
  • bioelectronic medicine
  • channel biophysics
  • glia
  • high throughput data
  • medical devices
  • neuromodulation
  • neuronal plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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