Brain Stimulation Engineering Lab at Duke

Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is increasingly used to study brain function, treat psychiatric and neurological disorders, and enhance cognitive performance.

Our mission is to engineer better non-invasive brain stimulation paradigms through device development, computational modeling, and experimental studies.

Research & Development


about the lab

Angel V. Peterchev leads the Brain Stimulation Engineering Lab (BSEL) at Duke University, a group that models and develops application paradigms for transcranial brain stimulation. In general, transcranial brain stimulation involves creating and directing electromagnetic fields that modulate neural activity. In fact, NIBS is increasingly used as a tool for basic and translational research and as a therapeutic intervention in psychiatry. We work closely with clinicians and neuroscientists to optimize existing approaches and to translate novel brain stimulation technology. For example, we have developed a device for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) that permits extensive control over the magnetic pulse parameters. At present, we are deploying this device to investigate, and thereby optimize, the magnetic stimulus (dosing) in neuromodulatory TMS paradigms. We are also developing efficient algorithms for response estimation and individualization. Another line of work is finite element analysis, among other computational modeling, of the fields induced in the brain by electric and magnetic stimulation. We are interested in integrating imaging modalities (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography) with NIBS and evaluating the safety of device–device interactions.

In parallel, BSEL pursues projects related to power electronics, with applications in electrical energy conversion and storage. Exemplary work includes building modular multi-level converters for solar energy, developing grid storage applications, and examining novel approaches to powering electric vehicles.

the division