Non-invasive Neuromodulation Lab (NNL)

The Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratories are supported by MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy) which is a landmark partnership between the University of Minnesota (UMN) and the State of Minnesota. The MnDRIVE Brain Conditions program supports three Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratories created to help UMN students, staff, and faculty members conduct non-invasive brain stimulation research. Services provided include facilities, equipment, technical support, equipment operation training, data collection assistance, and data processing and analysis assistance.

The Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratories are equipped with advanced non-invasive neurotechnologies, including:

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): The Magstim BiStim² and Magstim 200² set (The Magstim Co. Ltd., Carmarthenshire, UK)
  • Repetitive TMS (rTMS) including theta burst stimulation (TBS): The Magstim Super Rapid2 Plus1 (The Magstim Co. Ltd., Carmarthenshire, UK)
  • Robotized neuronavigated TMS (robotic nTMS): Axilum Robotics optical tracking system for TMS-Cobot TS with NDI Vega IR camera for spatial positioning and coil orientation (MagVenture Inc., Alpharetta, Georgia, USA)
  • Real-time closed-loop TMS-EEG platform: BrainProduct Turbolink, BOSSDEVICE, actiCHamp 64-ch active cap EEG amplifier (Brain Products GmbH, Gilching, DE)
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS): Starstim® 8 NE wireless transcranial electrical stimulation system with 8-ch wireless EEG amplifier (Neuroelectrics SL, Massachusetts, USA & Neuroelectrics, Barcelona, ESP)
  • Electroencephalogram, EEG acquisition systems: 
  1. Brain Products BrainAMP MR Plus amplification system, 64-ch BrainCaps with Multitrodes (Brain Products GmbH, Gilching, DE)
  2. BrainVision actiCHamp Plus amplification system, 64-ch actiCAP slim active electrode system caps (Brain Products GmbH, Gilching, DE)
  3. EGI Geodesic EEG System (GES) 400 amplifier, 64-ch Hydrocel Geodesic Sensor Nets (GSN), and Physio16 input box for integrated recording of physiological measurements such as ECG (Electrical Geodesics, Inc., Eugene, Oregon, USA)
  • Neuronavigation system: frameless stereotactic Brainsight II neuronavigation system (Rogue Research Inc., Quebec, CA).
  • Electromyogram, EMG acquisition system: 4-ch bipolar EMG pre-amplifier (Y03-2, Motion Lab Systems, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA) (Gain: 300, band-pass filter: 20~2000Hz)
  • Electrical stimulator: Digitimer DS7A constant current isolated stimulator (Digitimer Ltd, Hertfordshire, UK)
  • Medical grade isolation transformer: ISB-100W medical grade isolation transformer (Power Sources Unlimited, Inc, Massachusetts, USA).
  • System control platforms:
    1. CED Micro1401-4 data acquisition systems (Cambridge Electronic Design Limited, Milton, Cambridge, GB) with waveform capture rates up to 1MHz with 16-bit resolution and a 32-bit RISC processors
        • CED Signal Software Version 7 (Cambridge Electronic Design Limited, Milton, Cambridge,GB), for sweep-based, real-time data acquisition, monitoring, analysis, and external equipment control

    The primary Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratory has a space of 315 squarefeet for experiments and consenting paperwork, located in the Delaware Clinical Research Unit within the 717 Delaware Building. The secondary and tertiary Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratories are approximately 220 and 310 square feet, respectively, located in the Center for Neurobehavioral Development within the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain.

    The Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratories are equipped to conduct a wide variety of excitability assessments and neuromodulation paradigms including:

    • Cortical excitability assessment:
    1. Single pulse: basic excitability assessment including single pulse test, S-R curve, CSP, and cortical grid mapping
    2. Paired pulse: SICI, ICF, SICF, LICI, IHI, I-wave curve, ISI curve, CI curve and SAI
  • Neuromodulation interventions:
    1. Low-frequency rTMS (inhibitory) and sham
    2. High-frequency rTMS (facilitatory) and sham
    3. Continuous TBS (cTBS) (inhibitory) and sham
    4. Intermittent TBS (iTBS) (facilitatory) and sham
    5. Robotic neuronavigated TMS
    6. Paired Associative Stimulation (PAS): combines low-frequency rTMS with peripheral electrical stimulation allows the recording of the N20 sensory-evoked potential (SEP) by customized fast EEG acquisition method, which is used as a reference to induce LTD-/LTP-like PAS neuromodulation intervention (inhibitory and facilitatory, respectively)
    7. HD-tDCS and sham, 8-ch
    8. HD-tACS and sham, 8-ch
    9. HD-tRNS and sham, 8-ch
  • Sensory function evaluation:
    1. N20 SEP latency
    2. Temporal discrimination test
    3. Electrical stimulation perceptual threshold
  • Customized experiment protocol: 
    1. The system control platform is highly customizable to any new/tailored protocol design

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    Research Team

    Kelvin O. Lim, MD

    MIDB Neuromodulation Program Director
    Christine Conelea, PhD, LP

    Steering Committee
    Kelvin O. Lim, MD
    Christine Conelea, PhD, LP
    Alexander Opitz, PhD

    Alana Lieske

    Technical Consultant
    Mo Chen, PhD

    Mia Kellman