Prof Gordon Wallace: Playing an important role in the treatment of schizophrenia

May 28, 2021
Sam Findlay

On this Schizophrenia Awareness Week a big shout out to our colleague and ACES collaborator Prof Xu-Feng Huang, who has dedicated his research career to the understanding and treatment of this debilitating disease.


Prof Xu-Feng Huang (left) with Prof Gordon Wallace (right)


It has been a privilege to work alongside Xu-Feng in one small element of his work in exploring the effect of electrical stimulation on schizophrenia affected cells. Together we are confident that this emerging field of electroceuticals will play an important role in the treatments of the future.


To date we have discovered some extraordinary phenomena as we have used organic conductors to convey electrical stimulation to cells on the bench. Our initial work involved stimulation of cells in 2D (1), and then we move on to 3D electrode structures wherein the effects of stimulation were further amplified (2).


Our most recent work (with an expanded team including researchers from Dublin City University) has involved the development of a novel wireless electrical stimulation protocol using these novel organic conductors (3).


There is a long road to travel but the convergence of advances in electromaterials, wireless stimulation protocols and machine learning will propel the field of electroceuticals in coming years.


Xu-Feng, we are determined to do what we can as your collaborators in this area. We salute your unwavering commitment to those that suffer from this debilitating disease.


If you are interested in PhD training in this interdisciplinary area, join our team and help make a difference! Find more information on these opportunities by attending us on June 4 for our online PhD webinar at 1pm (AEST). Register here.




1. Electrical Stimulation Using Conductive Polymer Polypyrrole Counters Reduced Neurite Outgrowth of Primary Prefrontal Cortical Neurons from NRG1-KO and DISC1-LI Mice

Zhang, Q., Esrafilzadeh, D., Crook, J.M., Kapsa, R., Stewart, E.M., Tomaskovic-Crook, E., Wallace, G.G., Huang, X.-F. Scientific Reports 2017, 7, 42525.


2. Electrical Stimulation with a Conductive Polymer Promotes Neurite Outgrowth and Synaptogenesis in Primary Cortical Neurons in 3D

Zhang, Q., Beirne, S., Shu, K., Esrafilzadeh, D., Huang, X.-F., Wallace, G.G.

Scientific Reports 2018, 8 (1), 9855.


3. Bipolar electroactive conducting polymers for wireless cell stimulation

Qin, C., Yue, Z., Chao, Y., Forster, R.J., Maolmhuaidh, F.O., Huang, X.-F., Beirne, S., Wallace, G.G., Chen, J.

Applied Materials Today 2020, 21, 100804.


This article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Prof Gordon Wallace

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