Dr. Michel Decré

MichelSapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V.
Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder

A Physics Engineer from Free University Brussels, Michel Decré obtained his PhD in physics from Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, in 1994. After a 2-years post-doc for the ESA at the von Karman Institute, Brussels, he joined the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven in 1996, where he led and contributed to various projects in coating, patterning, thin film processing and microfabrication (polymer LEDs, DVD, blue-ray, printable displays). The wave-printing technology that he co-invented and developed with his team (2001-2005) was successfully transferred to Suess-MicroTech, under the name SCIL (Substrate Conformal Imprint Lithography). He has been a visiting professor in mechanical engineering at Leeds University, UK, 2003-2013. In 2010, he initiated the Healing Environments research programme at Philips Research. He has been co-promotor of a PhD research on the experimental study of dissociated neuronal networks in micro-systems by Thiru Kumaran Kanagasabapathi, UvA, 2012.

Michel initiated and led the team working on neurotechnologies as a Principal Scientist within Philips Research from 2005. He co-invented an developed the steering brain stimulation technology until its spinout as Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V. in June 2011, which he co-founded as a CTO. Over 25 patent applications have been filed based upon his inventions in this field.

Towards next generation Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is approved worldwide for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor, dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and more recently epilepsy, while other neurological and psychiatric disorders are under investigation. Sapiens is developing an innovative high-resolution DBS implant with the capacity to steer electrical pulses away from areas of the brain that can produce undesirable side-effects. The SureStim-1 system will provide the clinician with more flexibility in adjusting and fine-tuning, which is expected to result in uncompromised therapeutic benefits for patients. In addition, supporting products are being developed to allow for faster implantation procedures and more effective programming. The intra-operative FAME (First–Acute-in-Man-Evaluation) pilot study performed at the Department of Neurosurgery , Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam, was the first clinical investigation of Sapiens’ new high-resolution SureStim-1 lead. During a conventional DBS implantation surgery, the Sapiens’ lead was temporarily inserted for stimulation and local field potential (LFP) recording tests in 8 Parkinson’s disease patients. Within the limitations of an intra-operative setting, the initial observations demonstrated the ability of Sapiens ’ lead to steer stimulation, modulate side-effect thresholds and increase the therapeutic window. We believe this is an important milestone towards the realization of next generation neurostimulation devices.