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ESE Spring Seminar – “Minimally Invasive and Chronically Stable Brain-Machine Interface”
April 7 at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Stable chronic mapping of brain activities at the action potential level with high temporal resolution is essential for both fundamental neuroscience research and biomedical applications, including cognitive studies, memory encoding and retrieval, and neural prostheses. Conventional neural probes can provide high spatiotemporal-resolution brain signal recordings independent of probing depth, although they generally trigger foreign body response and tissue damage in the brain. As a result, they are usually unable to stably interface with the brain in a chronic manner, which substantially hinders their applications in brain-machine interface and neuroscience researches. In this seminar, I will present a new paradigm, mesh-like electronics, for minimally invasive and chronically stable brain-machine interface. The mesh-like electronics can seamlessly interface with mammal brains with significantly reduced foreign body response and can stably record brain signals with high spatiotemporal resolution for more than 8 months. I will then present the application of mesh-like electronics for chronic recording and modulations of spinal cord sensory and motor neurons in awake mice. In the end, I will present an alternative approach to designing minimally invasive neural electronics with hydrogel-based materials and the rapid fabrication of designed neural electronics with additive manufacturing. Both the mesh-like electronics and hydrogel electronics opened up new windows to stably communicating with the nervous system with minimum perturbation and foreign body responses.
Postdoctoral Associate, MIT
Tao Zhou is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT. He received his B.S. from Tsinghua university with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Computer Science. He then went to Harvard University to purse his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics (2019), where he worked on mesh-like electronics for brain-machine interface. Then he moved to MIT for his postdoc research, where he works on conducting polymer hydrogel-based electronics, addictive manufacturing, and bioelectronic medicine. His work has been published in top-tie peer-reviewed journals including Science, PNAS, Nature Materials, Nature Methods, Nano Letters. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including Harvard CBI Simmons Awards, MRS Best Oral Presentation Award, and he has been named a semi-finalist (finalist is pending) in 2022 MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35) Global List. He has been invited to serve as conference session chair, reviewer for numerous leading scientific journals and fellowships. He also served as topic editor for peer-reviewed journal Micromachines and served on its editorial board.