High-Resolution Brain Machine Interfaces using Flexible Silicon Electronics: Research and Clinical Applications

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Professor Jonathan Viventi 

Current implantable brain devices for clinical and research applications require that each electrode is individually wired to a separate electronic system. Establishing a high-resolution interface over broad regions of the brain is infeasible under this constraint, as an electrode array with thousands of passive contacts would require thousands of wires to be individually connected. To overcome this limitation, we have developed new implantable electrode array technology that incorporates active, flexible electronics. This technology has enabled extremely flexible arrays of 720 and soon, thousands of multiplexed and amplified sensors spaced as closely as 250 µm apart, which are connected using just a few wires. These devices yield an unprecedented level of spatial and temporal micro-electrocorticographic (µECoG) resolution for recording and stimulating distributed neural networks. µECoG is one of the many possible applications of this technology, which also include cardiac, peripheral nerve and retinal prosthetic devices. I will present the development of this technology and examples of retinotopic and tonotopic maps produced from in vivo recordings. I will also present examples of finely detailed spatial and temporal patterns from feline neocortex that give rise to seizures and suggest new stimulation paradigms to treat epilepsy.

About the Speaker:
Jonathan Viventi joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an Assistant Professor. Previously, he was a Kirschstein-NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Institute for Medicine and Engineering. Dr. Viventi earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.Eng. and B.S.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. Dr. Viventi's research applies innovations in flexible electronics, low power analog circuits, and machine learning to create new technology for interfacing with the brain at a much finer scale and with broader coverage than previously possible. He creates new tools for neuroscience research and technology to diagnose and treat neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. Using these tools, he collaborates with neuroscientists and clinicians to explore the fundamental properties of brain networks in both health and disease. His research program works closely with industry, including filing five patents and several licensing agreements. His work has also been featured as cover articles in Science Translational Medicine and  Nature Materials, and has also appeared in Nature Neuroscience, the Journal of Neurophysiology, and Brain. Dr. Viventi has received several awards for his work, including the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences / Neuroscience Graduate Group Flexner Award for Best Neuroscience Thesis at the University of Pennsylvania, Solomon R. Pollack Award for Best Thesis in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Nano/Bio-Interface Center Graduate Research Award for Best Graduate Research on Nanotechnology Applied to Biology at the University of Pennsylvania.