multiTES Individual and multi-channel transcranial electric stimulation for therapeutic home use in depression


Depression is with 300 million patients one of the most common mental illnesses. Nevertheless, fewer than half of those affected receive therapy in the form of psychotherapy or pharmaceuticals. In the future, non-invasive brain stimulation and in particular transcranial electrostimulation (TES) will play a crucial role as a new therapy. In previous applications, TES has proven to be a safe and effective method for neuromodulation in therapy and research. In this case, large rubber electrodes are attached to the patient / test person's head in sponge pockets with rubber bands. This procedure requires specialized medical personnel and is error-prone in various aspects and limits the number of electrodes that can be used. In order to further improve therapeutic and rehabilitation effects, it is necessary to transfer TES to the home sector.

This requires easy applicability and a high degree of stimulation safety with regard to the type and location of stimulation for effective stimulation.

With textile stimulation electrodes, which are integrated in a flexible textile cap, we want to achieve an independent applicability of stimulation. Electrolyte reservoirs must be integrated into the new stimulation concept to ensure a defined stimulation application. This requires a new technological process to produce well-defined and limited electrodes in the textile. Such a stimulation cap would allow several electrodes to be integrated to stimulate specific brain areas. In addition, a new verification procedure for the application of stimulation is to be developed. Knowledge of the propagation of electrical currents in the head is of enormous importance for the prediction of the effect and the targeted stimulation of certain areas and networks. With high-resolution simulations of current density distributions in anisotropic head models we want to advance into a new dimension to understand the effect of multichannel transcranial current stimulation. Furthermore, we want to validate the stimulator technology with flexibly controllable current sources in measurements of innovative head phantoms. Based on the simulations and the stimulation technique, a new tool for clinical and research applications is to be developed.

This joint project of the Thüringer Aufbaubank is financially supported by the European Union and is divided into the subprojects Modeling, simulation and analysis of network effects of multi-channel transcranial electrostimulation, individualized transcranial electrostimulation using a multi-channel stimulator and individual stimulation cap with electrolyte reservoir for multi-channel transcranial electrostimulation for home use by the project partners BMTI, neuroConn GmbH and warmX GmbH. Coordinator of the joint project is Prof. Haueisen / TU Ilmenau.