U.S. army, through its Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, has given a grant of $2.8 million to develop a “sleeping cap” that analyzes the cleansing flow of fluid that drains the brain of common metabolic waste during sleep.

The $2.8 million award, issued by the U.S army, is for the first year of what the research team anticipates will be a multiyear grant from the U.S. Army.

We spend almost one-third of our lives sleeping and a medically proven fact verifies that a poor sleep is linked to a number of medical issues including Alzheimer’s disease. One of the key aspects of a deep sleep is fluid that cleans waste out of the brain.

Engineers at a Texas-based private research university, Rice University, in partnership with the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) and physicians at Houston Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine will develop a "sleeping cap" to analyze the cleansing flow of fluid that drains the brain of common metabolic waste during sleep. 

The U.S. Defense Department wants a device that soldiers can wear while asleep to ensure they’re experiencing proper cerebrospinal fluid flow to the brain, the goal being an enhancement of their performance during waking hours.

The non-invasive system would consist of wearable hardware that acquires signals from the brain using a range of methods, which would be processed using the newly designed algorithms. Neuromodulation devices could then stimulate the flow of fluids in the brain.

The final device will ideally combine and analyze multiple streams of data through machine-learning software to be developed at Rice. The merged data will eventually allow clinicians to get a real-time picture of how well the brain is clearing itself.

Ultimately, the team aims to develop a lightweight, portable skullcap that can analyze and stimulate proper flow to treat sleep disorders in real time.

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