Public Release: 

Wyss Center announces collaboration with CorTec

Partnership to advance development of a novel, minimally invasive brain monitoring and stimulation device

Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering


IMAGE: Artist's impression of the minimally invasive brain stimulation and recording system. The electrodes sit on the skull, beneath the skin. A communication unit wirelessly transfers the signals to an external... view more 

Credit: Wyss Center

Geneva, Switzerland / Freiburg, Germany - The Wyss Center, a non-profit neurotechnology translation organization, has signed a partnership agreement with German medical engineering company, CorTec. The partners will work together on research, design and development of a device for continuous, long-term, monitoring of the brain's electrophysiological signals for clinical diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The planned device will sit on the skull, beneath the skin and has potential uses in epilepsy monitoring, tinnitus regulation through neurofeedback, neuromodulation for dyslexia and other brain circuit disorders.

The terms of the agreement include the fabrication of novel subcutaneous brain stimulation and monitoring electrodes. The collaboration provides the Wyss Center with exclusive access to novel technology from CorTec for subcutaneous neuromodulation solutions in many promising new applications.

Suitable for long-term implantation, the CorTec Brain Interchange system is an implantable brain stimulation and recording device that allows for chronic closed loop interaction with the brain. The multi-channel system consists of an implanted unit comprising neural electrodes and an electronic unit which both digitizes neural signals and sends stimulation impulses to the neural tissue via the electrodes. It communicates wirelessly with a body-external telemetry unit which is also responsible for power supply. The telemetry unit communicates with a computer that controls the application autonomously based on the recorded data and enables a needs-oriented therapy.

Professor John Donoghue, Director of the Wyss Center said: "Our partnership with CorTec could result in far reaching benefits for many neurotech device development projects underway today. CorTec's existing technologies, along with their enthusiastic approach to research and innovation, makes them an ideal partner for the Wyss Center. We are looking forward to working together to help people with nervous system disorders regain their independence."

"At the Wyss Center we are developing a minimally invasive device for the chronic recording of global brain signals. The system will also be capable of electrical stimulation, for diagnostic and therapeutic applications." said George Kouvas, Programme Manager. "The collaboration with CorTec will accelerate this development and enable us to progress to clinical trials more quickly for the benefit of people with brain circuit disorders."

"In a very short time the Wyss Center has built impressive facilities and a highly skilled team heading with verve for innovative personalized neurotherapies. We are looking forward to working with John Donoghue and the people at the Wyss Center to realize novel therapies," commented CorTec CEO Joern Rickert, Ph.D., on the collaboration.

Martin Schuettler, Ph.D., CTO and CEO at CorTec added: "Until now many innovative therapy approaches could not be developed because suitable technology was lacking. Together with the Wyss Center we can close this gap based on our Brain Interchange system while at the same time pushing the boundaries of our current technology by exploring new methods and materials."

Further development and optimization of existing minimally invasive long-term monitoring devices has the potential to accelerate multiple neurotechnology applications and could revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of neurodisorders.


Images (all images also available in higher resolution on request)

Download: 4MB PNG
Caption: Artist's impression of the minimally invasive brain stimulation and recording system. The electrodes sit on the skull, beneath the skin. A communication unit wirelessly transfers the signals to an external device. Different generations of the device have potential applications in epilepsy monitoring, tinnitus regulation and alleviation of dyslexia.
Credit: Wyss Center

Download: 13MB PNG
Caption: Examples of prototype subcutaneous brain stimulation and monitoring electrodes that may be used in the device.
Credit: Wyss Center

Download: 4MB PNG
Caption: Examples of prototype subcutaneous brain stimulation and monitoring electrodes that may be used in the device.
Credit: Wyss Center

Media contact

Jo Bowler, Media and Public Relations Manager
Desk: 41-0-58-201-03-09
Mobile: 41-0-79-861-10-68
Twitter: @Wysscenter

About the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, Geneva, Switzerland

The Wyss Center is an independent, not-for-profit, organization that provides the expertise, facilities and financial resources to transform creative neuroscience research into clinical solutions that will improve the lives of people with nervous system disorders.

The Center's experienced multidisciplinary neurotechnology development team from industry and academia provides the integrated scientific, engineering, clinical, regulatory and business expertise required to guide high risk, high reward projects on their journey from research to product. Based at Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland, the Center provides advanced neuroscience and engineering facilities for the development of technology that will prevent, diagnose or treat nervous system disorders, or has the potential to improve lives.

The Center has ongoing projects in brain computer interfaces, neurorehabilitation, neural circuits and sensory function, and advanced technology. It is currently seeking new partners from anywhere in the world that can fill scientific or technical gaps in the development of novel neurotechnologies in current Wyss Center projects.

A major goal of the Center is to ensure that innovative neurotechnologies advance until they are sufficiently mature to attract corporate partnerships, venture funding, or other mechanisms necessary to make them broadly available to society.

Established by a generous donation from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss, the Wyss (pronounced "Veese") Center, is a partner in a progressive new neuroscience hub at Campus Biotech.

About CorTec, Freiburg, Germany

CorTec was founded in 2010 in Freiburg, Germany. By now the company has about 40 employees.

CorTec is developing a neurotechnological implant based on the CorTec Brain Interchange® technology that can measure and stimulate brain activity in long-term use and act as a direct connection between human brain and artificial intelligence. The platform character of the technology opens up a large field of innovative neurotherapies in applications like epilepsy, Parkinson's disease or even in the field of bioelectronic medicine.

°AirRay, CorTec's proprietary an electrode for recording and stimulating in the central as in the peripheral nervous system, is an important component of this system.


CorTec GmbH
Christina Schwartz, Press Contact
Georges-Köhler-Allee 010
79110 Freiburg
Telefon: 49-0-761-8946-945-20
Telefax: 49-0-761-8946-945-99

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