High-Density Conformal Neural Interface

NYU Community Event

Speaker: Liang Guo

Host Faculty: Professor Jon Viventi


Numerous applications in neuroscience research and neural prosthetics, such as retinal prostheses, spinal-cord surface stimulation for prosthetics and electrocorticogram (ECoG) recording for epilepsy detection, involve electrical interaction with soft excitable tissues using a surface stimulation and/or recording approach. These applications require an interface that is able to set up electrical communications with a high throughput between electronics and the excitable tissue and that can dynamically conform to the shape of the soft tissue. Being a compliant and biocompatible material with mechanical impedance close to those of soft tissues, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) offers excellent potential as the substrate material for such neural interfaces. However, fabrication of electrical functionalities on PDMS has long been very challenging.

My talk will focus on the development of PDMS-based high-density conformal neural interfaces and their application as an epimysial (i.e., on the surface of muscle) interface to neural prosthetics and theragnosis. Specifically, challenges associated with the microfabrication of PDMS-based stretchable electronics, including high-density interconnect patterning, multilayer implementation and integrated packaging, will be addressed; and efforts on example medical applications, including a prosthesis for unilateral vocal cord paralysis (UVCP) and a theragnostic system for promoting peripheral nerve repair, will be described. I will conclude on perspectives on future high-throughput neural interfacing technology.

About the Speaker

Liang Guo received his B.E. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing in 2004 and his Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA in 2011. His Ph.D. dissertation is on "High-density stretchable microelectrode arrays: an integrated technology platform for neural and muscular surface interfacing". He is presently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Laboratory of Professor Robert S. Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. His primary research interests are in neural interfacing technology and biological circuits engineering as applied to neural prosthetics.