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David Paydarfar

UMassMed Faculty Page


Title: Methods and System for Optimizing a Control System. UMMS15-40. Patent Pending. 

  • Inducing a switch in neuronal state using energy optimal stimuli is relevant to a variety of problems in neuroscience. Analytical techniques from optimal control theory can identify such stimuli; however, solutions to the optimization problem using indirect variational approaches can be elusive in models that describe neuronal behavior. Here we develop and apply a direct gradient-based optimization algorithm to find stimulus waveforms that elicit a change in neuronal state while minimizing energy usage. Our gradient-based algorithm: 1) enables automated exploration of a wide solution space, using stochastically generated initial waveforms that converge to multiple locally optimal solutions; and 2) finds optimal stimulus waveforms that achieve a physiological outcome condition, without a priori knowledge of the optimal terminal condition of all state variables. Analysis of biological systems using stochastically-seeded gradient methods can reveal salient dynamical mechanisms underlying the optimal control of system behavior. The gradient algorithm may also have practical applications in future work, for example, finding energy optimal waveforms for therapeutic neural stimulation that minimizes power usage and diminishes off-target effects and damage to neighboring tissue. 

Title: Method and System for Reducing Irritability and Cardio-Respiratory Instability in Children. UMMS14-39; Patent Pending. 

  • This invention provides a system to reduce irritability in infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) or colic by assessing physiological measurements (e.g. heart rate, respiration rate) from the infant, determining the level of irritability and applying a stochastic stimulation, vibro-tactile or subsensory, via mattress, car-seat, etc. This tool can be used to alleviate drug withdrawal, reduce hospitalization, and improve outcomes in NAS or infants exhibiting colic. 

Title: System and Method for Using Somatic Movement to Improve Prediction and Prevention of Infant Apnea. UMMS13-75; Patent Pending.

  • The present invention relates to methods and systems for inhibiting apneic and hypoxic events. More specifically, the present invention provides methods for monitoring physiological signals of a patient, predicting the occurrence of a life-threatening event such as apnea or hypoxia, and initiating a stimulus to lessen the severity of, or even prevent, the occurrence of the life-threatening event. 


Innovation TopicsSoftwareNeurologyNeural stimulationMedical DevicesNeonatal abstinenceInfant drug withdrawalColicApneaHypoxiaPhysiological signal monitor