Projects

Neuronal Structure and Function at the Implanted Electrode Interface

Neuronal loss has been observed surrounding implanted electrodes. Are there any impacts of the device on the residual neurons? Using a combination of slice electrophysiology, 2-photon imaging, quantitative immunohistochemistry, and viral-mediated knockdown, we are unmasking changes in the excitability, spine density, dendritic architecture, and synaptic connectivity of neurons surrounding devices.

See our new preprint here:

Structural and functional changes of pyramidal neurons at the site of an implanted microelectrode array in rat primary motor cortex | bioRxivhttps://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.09.15.507997v1.abstract

Spatial Transcriptomics at the Implanted Electrode Interface

The biological response to electrodes implanted in the brain is typically understood through quantitative immunohistochemistry, which requires selecting a few predefined pathways of interest. We are using spatial transcriptomics to see the bigger picture: the technique gives us the ability to assess the spatial expression of thousands of genes of interest surrounding electrodes. We are applying this approach to understand effects surrounding both recording and stimulating electrodes.

See our recent publications here:

A Spatial Transcriptomics Study of the Brain-Electrode Interface in Rat Motor Cortex | bioRxiv

Frontiers | Spatial Transcriptomics as a Novel Approach to Redefine Electrical Stimulation Safety (frontiersin.org)

Spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression around implanted silicon electrode arrays – IOPscience

Novel All-Diamond Ultramicroelectrodes for Combined Electrical and Neurochemical Sensing

We are collaborating with Dr. Wen Li (lead PI) and the Fraunhofer Center Midwest to develop and test a novel boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode for sensing chemical and electrical signals in the brain. Potential advantages of the BDD electrodes include improved fabrication flexibility, stability, and biocompatibility, as well as a wider potential window. We have extended on this collaboration to include in vivo neurochemical sensing in the context of human disease: we are working with Dr. Caryl Sortwell’s group to test implanted electrodes in rat models of Parkinson’s disease.

See our recent publications here:

Micromachines | Free Full-Text | Next-Generation Diamond Electrodes for Neurochemical Sensing: Challenges and Opportunities (mdpi.com)

Flexible, diamond-based microelectrodes fabricated using the diamond growth side for neural sensing | Microsystems & Nanoengineering (nature.com)