Digital configuration of astrocyte stimulation as a new technique to strengthen the impaired astrocytes in the tripartite synapse network
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Recent findings have proven that glial cells and particularly astrocytes are responsible for some important roles in the central nervous system. Due to laboratory technical difficulties in the examination of astrocyte’s functions in information processing of neural systems, computational modeling is a suitable approach. In this paper, the process of synchronization in neuronal fluctuations in view of the role of astrocytes was investigated. Then, due to the destructive effects of hyper-synchronization, based on the dynamical model of the astrocyte biophysical model, a new bio-inspired stimulator was introduced. Many patients suffer from astrocyte-related epilepsy; however, drugs that affect astrocytes are not available currently. Therefore, here a new concept of “stimulating the impaired astrocytes to compensate for their malfunction” was introduced. This new mechanism was proposed to stimulate the impaired astrocytes in a population of tripartite synapses for restoration of the normal neural oscillations. Finally, a closed-loop interaction between the proposed stimulating method and a population of tripartite synapses was implemented on a Zynq system-on-chip (SoC) platform from Xilinx, because the Zynq SoC is an appropriate control platform in the implementation of the proposed architecture. Stimulator hardware design was optimized to attain a very low power consumption platform in real-time application. Results of hardware and software simulations confirmed that hyper-synchronization of a neuronal population caused by astrocytes dysfunction could be compensated by the bio-inspired stimulator.
KeywordsTripartite synapse Impaired astrocyte Astrocytic stimulation Synchronization System on chip
We thank Dr. Karim Faez for his assistance with particular technique and comments that greatly improved the quality of the manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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