(Invited) From Flexible Fibers to Nanomagnetics: Minimally Invasive Sensors and Actuators of Neural Activity

Tuesday, 3 October 2017: 14:00
National Harbor 11 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
P. Anikeeva (MIT)
Mammalian nervous system contains billions of neurons that exchange electrical, chemical and mechanical signals. Our ability to study this complexity is limited by the lack of technologies available for interrogating neural circuits across their diverse signaling modalities without inducing a foreign-body reaction. My talk will describe neural interface strategies pursued in my group aimed at mimicking the materials properties and transduction mechanisms of the nervous system. First, I will describe how fiber-drawing methods traditionally used by telecom and photonics industries can deliver neural probes capable of simultaneous electrical neural recording, optical stimulation, and drug and gene delivery into the brain and spinal cord of freely moving subjects. I will then show how these devices can be applied to direct neural growth and activity facilitating repair of damaged nerves. This talk will conclude with the description of an entirely wireless neuromodulation paradigm that relies on heat sensitivity in neurons and hysteretic heat dissipation by magnetic nanomaterials in alternating magnetic fields