AEGEUS - A Novel EEG Ultrasound Device for Functional Brain Imaging and Neurostimulation

ID Call: HORIZON-EIC-2022-PATHFINDEROPEN-01 EIC Pathfinder Open 2022



Sapienza's role in the project: Other beneficiary

Scientific supervisor for Sapienza: Laura Astolfi

Department: Computer, Control, and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti


Project start date: March 1, 2023

Project end date: February 28, 2027


The overall goal of AEGEUS is to develop a radically new diagnostic and therapeutic device for neurological applications which combines a highly innovative ultrasound component with electrophysiological measures of neural activity. The first goal of the project is the development of a new ultrasound (US)-based functional imaging method that, together with electroencephalography (EEG), will enable a high-resolution spatiotemporal examination of brain activity by combining the properties of EEG, which can measure especially the cortical sources of brain activity, with those of the US component, which is instead suitable for estimating the activity of deeper brain regions. The second intended functionality of the device is focused on ultrasound brain stimulation. The neuromodulation component will benefit from the accurate localization of any abnormal activity detected by the device and be guided by it in performing focused stimulation of selected brain regions in a closed-loop process. The device and the developed algorithms will be tested through a study of healthy volunteers and patients with epilepsy. Once realized, the complete system will consist of a portable and cost-effective device, capable of integrating EEG electrodes and US transducers in a wearable headset. The new device will reduce examination and treatment time for neurological patients and related costs. The ability to improve imaging and therapeutic intervention through targeted neurostimulation with an inexpensive, noninvasive device will have a fundamental impact on the treatment of neurological diseases and will enable the development and advancement of research in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

Thanks to its well-established expertise in the field of EEG analysis and in the reconstruction of brain activity in the source domain from neurophysiological and metabolic signals, the Sapienza Unit will contribute to the project activities through: i) the development of algorithms for the integration of the information obtained by the two modalities, to develop an imaging technique with spatiotemporal resolution unparalleled by non-invasive methods; ii) the development of a new biophysical model to explain and incorporate activations measured by EEG and ultrasounds (in collaboration with the Associate Partner University of Tor Vergata); and iii) the evaluation of the algorithms and the model on data obtained from healthy subjects and from patients with epilepsy.

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