Events / CNI seminar: Flavia Vitale

CNI seminar: Flavia Vitale

February 19, 2019
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Barchi Library (140 John Morgan Building), 3620 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Flavia Vitale
Department of Neurology
University of Pennsylvania


When nano meets neuro: high-resolution interfaces for multimodal mapping neural circuit dynamics


Unraveling neural processes underlying cognition, sensation, volitional movement, neurological and neuromuscular diseases requires decoding the activity of millions of neurons at millisecond resolution, over months to years and without inducing foreign-body reactions. These requirements exceed the capabilities of available neurotechnologies: non-invasive clinical tools provide coarse, indirect measurements of collective neural network behavior, but they fail to identify the microcircuits underlying function and disease. Implantable metal and silicon electrodes can directly interface with individual neurons, but suffer from poor longevity and invasiveness issues. Genetically-encoded tools for optically monitoring and manipulating neural activity, are beginning to reveal the brain’s wiring, but alone they provide sparse information on “fast” circuit activity and network connectivity.


In this talk I will discuss how nanoscale materials can be engineered into high-resolution, minimally invasive, multimodal neuroelectronic interfaces, designed to seamlessly interface with and control the activity of neural circuits. In the first part of the talk I will present high-resolution, low noise microelectrodes based on MXene nanomaterials. I will illustrate the fundamental electrochemical properties of MXene nanomaterials compared to conventional metals and how these translate into significant impedance and noise reduction when MXenes are integrated into cellular-scale devices. I will then present two examples of custom-fabricated MXene microelectrodes optimized for neural recordings in different areas of the brain. In the second part of the talk I will introduce flexible, transparent graphene optoelectronic devices engineered to simultaneously acquire electrophysiology and functional calcium imaging data. I will present the fabrication process yielding functional electrodes with >90% broadband transparency and demonstrate their application in multimodal mapping seizure dynamics at high-spatiotemporal resolution, in vivo in animal models of epilepsy.



A pizza lunch will be served.