Research

Next-generation Neural Interfaces 

Photonics and Optics

Our multidisciplinary research is focused on designing next-generation neural interfaces. The core expertise in our lab is to develop photonics and optics methods, devices and systems.
Brain is a very complex organ composed of billions of interconnected 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.
 
The goal of our research is to develop novel tools and techniques to better understand the nervous system. We use concepts in physics such as optics, ultrasonics and electronics as well as engineering techniques such as micro/nanofabrication to develop next generation read/write neural interfaces for high throughput recording and stimulation of brain with high spatiotemporal resolution. These neural interfaces can be used for fundamental neuroscience study of brain function and dysfunction and also for designing therapeutic interventions to mitigate conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
 
The main research thrusts in the lab are centered on:
  1. Implantable Neural Interfaces
 
We design high-density soft and rigid opto-electrical neural probes. These multimodal neural interfaces include optical, electrical and chemical sensing and stimulation functionalities.
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   2. Non-invasive Virtual Ultrasonically Sculpted Optics
 
We have developed a new technique for in situ shaping of light using ultrasound waves. In this technique, we use the power of waves (optical waves and ultrasonic waves) to access the target medium from outside to define and steer the trajectory of light non-invasively. We have established the fundamentals of this innovative technique and we are now looking into its many potential applications, ranging from imaging, light delivery, spatial light modulation and computational imaging.
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   3. Neurobiology Experiment Testbed
 
We have recently established our own neurobiology lab by designing two modular multi-functional rigs for testing and validation of the neurotechnologies that we are developing in the lab using in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology recording, optogenetic stimulation and 1-photon and 2-photon calcium imaging. 
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