Neural Interfacing

The recent explosion in development of micro/nanotechnologies is increasingly providing opportunities to use devices to investigate and/or aid neurological functionality. Neural interfaces link the nervous system to internal or external devices – creating possibilities for bi-directional information exchange between different areas of the nervous system, thereby helping restore or supplement impaired neurological function. Commonly referred to as Brain Computer Interfacing (BCI), this technology can potentially help return lost motor and sensory function to individuals suffering from debilitating injuries to the nervous system.

A key component of BCIs are intracortical recording interfaces (IRIs), which record and conduct neural signals required to control an external assistive device such as a robotic arm. In reality, however, the robust foreign body response and blood-brain barrier breach triggered due to the prolonged presence of indwelling neural interfaces in brain tissue causes degradation of signal quality, and chronic device failure. Our work is focused on the design and development of novel coatings, and  non-invasive imaging strategies to help aid IRI implantation, and to prolong the chronic recording function of indwelling IRIs.