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NeuroEngineering

NeuroEngineering

New tools to probe and connect with our minds

The human brain has 100 billion nerve cells and trillions of connections between them. Understanding the workings of such a complex and dynamic organ requires new tools and technologies. Materials scientists are developing probes to form gentle but sensitive and reliable interfaces to stimulate and record signals from thousands of individual neurons at once. Our engineers are developing ways to manipulate neural circuits with electricity, light, ultrasound and magnetic fields, and others are listening to the brain, interpreting the language of neural signals and using that language to drive robotic arms or to type on a computer. New tools will enable as yet unimagined discoveries and will allow us to repair and even to augment the human brain. 

Our NeuroEngineering Projects

Funded Research - Big Idea
Creating new tools to help neuroscientists bridge the study of genes and proteins operating in the brain to the study of brain circuits and systems, which could lead to a deeper understanding of brain function and disease.
Funded Research - Postdoctoral Fellowship
A top priority for people with paralysis is reach and grasp ability. Technologies such as robotic arm prostheses or electrically stimulating paralyzed muscles can meet this need. Existing methods rely on the remaining muscles, are unintuitive and require laborious sequences of simple commands. Reading out a patient’s desired movement directly from their brain could overcome these limitations.
Funded Research - Neuroscience:Translate
The limited available treatments (e.g., radiation, chemotherapy) for glioblastoma (GBM) can lead to swelling in the brain that causes elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), the timing of which is unpredictable; this results in the patient presenting to the emergency room with headaches, vomiting, or seizures, which leads to worsened quality of life and survival outcomes. We propose the refinement and pre-clinical validation of a pressure-sensing microfluidic ICP microsensor (mICP) that could be implanted in patients with GBM to detect elevated ICP early on.
Funded Research - Neuroscience:Translate
Sensorineural hearing loss is an increasingly prevalent condition that causes disability to over a third of US adults aged over 65. We are developing a breakthrough device to restore high-frequency hearing that preserves residual hearing through a reversible and minimally invasive approach.
Funded Research - Neuroscience:Translate
Recurrent dizziness attacks are a debilitating condition for 10% of the population during their lifetime, and can lead to a complete inability to function, and to multiple hospital admissions and investigations chasing many potential diagnoses. This project aims to address the unmet need for means of tracking patients' specific symptoms, so that correct treatments can be identified that will improve patients' function and quality of life.
Funded Research - Postdoctoral Fellowship

Multicellular organisms consist of numerous cell types with specialized biological functions. To understand such complex biological systems, genetic access to each cell type is needed for functional analysis and manipulations.

Funded Research - Postdoctoral Fellowship

Our drive to seek new information is powerful. As children, we play — experimenting to establish the relationship between our actions and the environment. As adults, we consume media — searching for news and entertainment.

Funded Research - Neuroscience:Translate
This team is developing wearable stimulation devices to improve limb function after stroke. The technology includes a tactile stimulation method, and the wireless, lightweight, and low-cost wearable computing devices to apply this stimulation.