Aims of Neurotechnology hardware area

The Neurotechnology hardware team will push the state of the art, and introduce innovation in neuromodulation, recording, material, and microsystem integration in minimally invasive ways.

The ultimate objective of neurotechnology is to enable seamless interaction with selected brain areas, including reading, writing, modulating, and blocking neurons within the brain. However, achieving this goal requires careful consideration of various factors in brain imaging, recording, and modulation technologies. There are evident trade-offs between spatial resolution, device size, whole-brain coverage, and the number of pixels or channels and the balance between freedom of movement, chronic recording capabilities, and invasiveness. Moreover, the temporal resolution, cost, and power consumption are also crucial factors to be taken into account.

In the pursuit of this goal, the Neurotechnology hardware team focuses on three techniques that strive to find the optimal point within this multidimensional space:

1. Microfabricated high-density electrode arrays for both recording and modulation of neuronal activity
2. Non-invasive focused ultrasound modulation of neuronal activity
3. Miniaturized whole-brain calcium imaging

In this research area, we work on the following research questions:

  • How can we achieve more precise excitation or inhibition of neuronal ensembles in the brain?
  • How to record from a large number of neurons across multiple brain structures while avoiding data overload?
  • How can we create fully implantable and compact recording, control, and stimulation electronics to eliminate the need for bulky batteries?
  • How can we ensure that the implant is flexible, biostable, and biocompatible, allowing it to adapt to the subject's brain growth and remain functional throughout their lifetime?
  • How to record stimulate non-invasively?
  • How can we design the implants to avoid interfering with other non-invasive recording and stimulation modalities?
  • How can we enhance the processing and control capabilities of these implants while working with limited resources?