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Recent Updates

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November 29, 2023 – BackStop Neural proudly announces the addition of Pedro Rocha, PhD, as a pivotal member of its product development team. Dr. Rocha brings the company a wealth of expertise and a distinguished background in mechatronics, materials science, and flexible electronics.


Dr. Rocha holds both a PhD in biomedical engineering and a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas; his bachelor's degree in mechatronic engineering is from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de la Región Carbonífera. He has published nine peer-reviewed papers in the field of flexible electronics for medical applications, holds two patents, and has presented papers at the North American Neuromodulation Society and the Biomedical Engineering Society. 

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October 3, 2023 – Backstop Neural continues to bolster its Advisory Board as it welcomes distinguished scholar and experienced clinician Dr. Stephen Hochschuler. Dr. Hochschuler brings over forty years of surgical experience with his beginnings as a general medical officer for the U.S. Air Force. Beyond his impressive clinical background, Dr. Hochschuler is the founder and chairman emeritus of the Texas Back Institute, one of the world’s largest freestanding multidisciplinary academic spine centers. He is a member of more than a half-dozen medical societies and has co-founded four more. His commitment to excellence and passion for innovation make him an ideal addition to the company’s Advisory Board. 

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August 15, 2023 – BackStop Neural is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Steven Falowski to its Advisory Board. Dr. Falowski is an award-winning neurosurgeon, renowned for his expertise and leadership in the field of neurosurgery and especially neuromodulation. 

"I am honored to join BackStop Neural's Advisory Board," stated Dr. Falowski. "The company's thin-film spinal cord stimulation technology has the potential to fulfill an unmet need that unlocks the benefits of spinal cord stimulation for patients suffering from chronic pain in the neck and upper limbs. I am excited to contribute my expertise and collaborate with this exceptional team to bring about positive change in the lives of those suffering from chronic pain and neurological disorders."

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August 2, 2023 – BackStop Neural celebrates the recognition of Dr. Walter Voit, its co-founder and visionary leader, as a Senior Member of the esteemed National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The NAI acknowledges exceptional academic inventors who have made significant contributions to technology and intellectual property advancement. Dr. Voit's election as a Senior Member is a testament to his relentless dedication to advancing medical technology.


“I am honored that the NAI named me as a Senior Member of its 2023 class,” Dr. Voit said. “I believe my involvement with the NAI will provide great opportunities for us to expand our networking and further push our research and business opportunities.”

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Annual MedTech MVP Conference Addresses Current Issues and Opportunities

June 29, 2023 – BackStop Neural was thrilled to join the 22nd annual MedTech MVP conference in Minneapolis last week. The event is recognized for bringing together over 300 leading innovators, investors, and executives from around the world to discuss timely issues such as reducing the cost of care, overcoming valuation overhang and the implications of raising capital and exits, and expansion of big tech into healthcare and medtech. CEO Connie Manz and Chief Product Officer Kial Gramley represented the company, highlighting our groundbreaking ideas and connecting with strategic investors, renowned researchers, talented entrepreneurs, and other brilliant minds shaping the future of healthcare. We recognize Cambridge Healthtech Institute for creating an exceptional platform for networking and knowledge sharing.

Twin Carmel Brothers Featured on the Today Show

June 8, 2023 – The Today Show recently featured the story of our co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Carmel and his identical twin brother David. The pair’s lives were radically altered twenty-four years ago when David sustained a spinal cord injury during a diving accident, which instantly paralyzed him from the chest down.  As a result, Jason, still in medical school at the time, decided to specialize in neurology and neuroscience.  


Dr. Carmel has since dedicated his career to researching ways to help people with spinal cord injuries recover function including using spinal cord stimulation. BackStop Neural is proud to be part of this mission. Read more of this powerful story on the Today Show and Columbia University sites.

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BackStop Neural at NANS 2023

February 28, 2023 – BackStop Neural went all-in in Las Vegas while attending the North American Neuromodulation Society’s 26th annual meeting. The conference, which is regarded as the premier meeting in the field of neuromodulation, boasted over 2,500 attendees, including clinicians, researchers, academics, and healthcare professionals. 

 

Read more about co-founder Dr. Jason Carmel presenting his research on understanding where and how to stimulate the cervical spinal cord for spinal cord associative plasticity (SCAP), and Advisor Pedro Rocha-Flores discussing he development of softening spinal cord stimulating leads for neuromodulation of the cervical spinal cord.

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BackStop Neural nabs key local talent to lead product team

January 9, 2023 – BackStop Neural, Inc. is excited to announce that Kial Gramley has joined its team as Chief Product Officer. Gramley is a seasoned entrepreneur who in his career has successfully commercialized materials-centric technologies developed by academics from the UT System, ultimately leading to two different successful exits to public companies (Parker Hannifin and Desktop Metal) over the past decade... 

Read more about BackStop Neural's new Chief Product Officer.

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BackStop Neural launches Series Seed A Preferred Capital Round

June 1, 2022 – BackStop Neural took the next step in serious growth this week by launching its first capital raise. "This is a great milestone for the company," CEO Connie Manz said enthusiastically. "This raise will support our next stages of development including fabrication of human-sized prototypes and initiation of discussions with the FDA."

For more information on joining this round, contact us: info@backstopneural.com

Dr. Carmel awarded NIH-NINDS R01 grant ($2.6M) for plasticity of human cervical spinal cord

November 2, 2021 – The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke via the National Institutes of Health approved a multi-million dollar grant to PI Dr. Carmel and his team at Columbia University to study spinal cord associative plasticity. Knowing that experience can change behavior via the associative activity of neural circuits, this study targets paired stimulation in the spinal cord - rather than pairing them in the cortex - as a method to strengthen circuits. In fact, the spinal cord, like the brain, can learn.

The ultimate goal of the grant is to improve the treatment and reduce disability for millions of people who suffer from hand and arm paralysis due to spinal cord injury, stroke, and other diseases affecting movement.

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July 25, 2021 – Drs. Voit and Carmel were two of the authors on a paper published in Volume 277 of Biomaterials. Entitled "Stable softening bioelectronics: A paradigm for chronically viable ester-free neural interfaces such as spinal cord stimulation implants", the paper highlights promising advancements in polymer synthesis applicable for commercial chronic implant components such as spinal cord stimulation leads. These substrates have the unique capacity to be rigid during surgical implantation, then soften in vivo before gradually stabilizing to maintain toughness. The authors believe that their new approach could solve the stability problems currently facing today's softening bioelectronics.

BackStop Neural secures NIH SBIR subaward

April 1, 2021 – CEO Connie Manz will lead BackStop Neural as it joins Teliatry, Inc. in research for its NIH SBIR Phase I grant "Minimally invasive, single incision, rechargeable spinal cord stimulation system for chronic pain". BackStop Neural and UCSD will assist Teliatry in constructing the world's smallest rechargeable spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system; this will allow implementation via minimally invasive surgery. Such an advancement can propel SCS therapy from a last-resort approach to mainstream chronic backpain management.  

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December 7, 2020 – Dr. Jason Carmel co-authored a paper with colleagues from Columbia University highlighting their successful development of associative plasticity for the spinal cord. Published in bioRxiv, the paper ("Spinal cord associative plasticity improves forelimb sensorimotor function after cervical injury") concludes that precisely timed pairings of stimulations to the motor cortex and the dorsal column of the spinal cord resulted in improved reflex modulation and functionality of the forelimbs in the animal study and noted that this approach can be trialed in humans.  

NIH-NINDS awards $2.6M R01 grant to Drs. Carmel and Voit for cervical epidural stimulation in rats

December 15, 2020 – Dr. Carmel secured a multi-million dollar grant this month from the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This grant will fund research into paired brain and spinal cord stimulation as a means to strengthen spinal sensorimotor circuits. Through the development of Spinal Cord Associative Plasticity (SCAP), the team will test the hypothesis that pairing motor cortex and sensory spinal cord stimulation will promote sensorimotor plasticity in the cervical spinal cord and functional recovery after cervical spinal cord injury (SCI); additional information may close gaps in the understanding of how paired stimulation of sensorimotor circuits should be targeted to the spinal cord and whether it is effective for recovery. 

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April 4, 2019 – Co-founder Dr. Jason Carmel co-authored the research paper "Independent replication of motor cortex and cervical spinal cord electrical stimulation to promote forelimb motor function after spinal cord injury in rats". The study found that rats provided the stimulation had significant improvements on behavior tasks related to the forelimbs compared with controls. Next phases in this research will involve large animal studies in preparation for human trials

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May 15, 2018 – The Journal of Neural Engineering, hosted by IOP Science, published the paper of BackStop Neural co-founders Dr. Jason Carmel and Dr. Walter Voit and their colleagues entitled "Chronic softening spinal cord stimulation arrays".  The publication highlighted the successful research of the group related to cervical spinal cord stimulation. Their SCS array, constructed from shape memory polymer based flexible electronics, is durable and stable, but it does not agitate the underlying spinal cord. These successful animal studies open the door for human device opportunities.  

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