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Enteric neural engineering - Todd Coleman

Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Todd Coleman
March 12, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm
Shriram 104

Enteric neural engineering

Todd Coleman

Neuro-Gastroenterologic Engineering
University of California, San Diego


Gastrointestinal (GI) problems are the second leading cause for missing work or school in the US, giving rise to 10% of the reasons a patient visits their physician. Although structural and biochemical abnormalities are easy to diagnose, more than half of GI disorders involve abnormal functioning of the GI tract.  Such “functional” GI disorders, considered the result of abnormal individual or interactive functioning of the enteric and central nervous systems, are typically managed with symptom-based questionnaires or invasive, intermittent procedures in specialized centers.   In this talk, we will discuss our advancement of the high-resolution electrogastrogram (HR-EGG), acquired non-invasively from cutaneous multi-electrode electrode arrays.  We will discuss how the HR-EGG combined with advanced statistical signal processing methods allows for non-invasive extraction of GI motility parameters (propagation patterns, propagation velocity) that correlate with symptoms (the Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index). We will discuss implications of this finding, since numerous studies have shown no evidence between symptom improvement and gastric emptying for various drugs used to treat gastroparesis.  With the ability to better assess, will next discuss advances in modifying the enteric nervous system, with our development of a red/far-red light switch to control genes optically.  Lastly, we will discuss the potential of removing bottlenecks and benefitting large populations with our development of ambulatory monitoring systems and adhesive-integrated flexible electronic systems.


Todd P. Coleman received B.S. degrees in electrical engineering (summa cum laude), as well as computer engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Michigan. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in electrical engineering, and did postdoctoral studies at MIT in neuroscience. He is currently a Professor in the Bioengineering Department at UCSD, where he directs the Neural Interaction Laboratory.   Dr. Coleman’s research is very multi-disciplinary, using tools from applied probability, physiology, and bio-electronics.  His work has been featured on CNN, BBC, and the New York Times. Dr. Coleman has been selected as a National Academy of Engineering Gilbreth Lecturer and a TEDMED speaker.