Photonics and Optics

Next-generation Neural Interfaces 

The  research in our lab is focused on photonics and optics and also next-generation neural interfaces.  
Brain is a very complex organ composed of billions of neurons that form circuits and networks that mediate our behavior. Understanding the neural basis of brain function and harnessing its power is arguably a grand challenge of our era.
Our research focuses on developing novel tools and techniques to better understand the brain function using concepts in physics such as optics, electronics, and ultrasonics as well as techniques in engineering such as micro and nanofabrication to  develop next generation neural interfaces for high-resolution, high-throughput electrophysiology and optical stimulation of brain. Understanding the needs in the application space and opportunities in physics and engineering, we aim to design innovative devices and systems for interfacing with biological systems. We develop high-density soft neural probes for recording and stimulation of brain. We also use waves (optical waves, ultrasonic waves, and electromagnetic waves) to access the brain non-invasively. The main focus of the lab is to develop neural interfaces for fundamental neuroscience studies as well as next generation brain-machine interfaces. We also work on inventing new techniques to study the structure and function in biological systems in other parts of the body. For example, we are developing novel optical techniques for imaging remaining malignant cells after resection of tumors. 
Our research consists of two main thrusts: