Neural Interface Laboratory

Welcome to Lee Lab for Neural Interface Research !

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The Neural Interface Lab develops novel neural interface technologies for stimulation and recording of both the central and peripheral nervous system. The NIL focuses on the development and evaluation of novel micro-coil implants for use in brain-computer interface (BCI), deep brain stimulation (DBS), retinal implant, and cochlear implant. The NIL also investigates the novel microelectrode array designs for high-resolution neural interfaces.

Overview:

Neuroprosthetic devices are implantable medical devices which help patients recover their senses and motor functions via direct electric stimulation of neural tissues. Despite some initial successes in the auditory prosthesis (i.e. cochlear implants) and the motor rehabilitation (i.e. Deep Brain Stimulation), the effectiveness and the reliability of the neuroprosthetic devices have been somewhat limited due to many problems arising from the electrical stimulation via metal electrode/tissue interfaces. Magnetic stimulation is known to overcome many of the problems but it is not known whether stimulation from the coil, small enough to be implanted in brains, is capable of activating neurons. To address this question, Dr. Seungwoo Lee has been working closely with Dr. Shelley Fried at MGH/HMS to develop a micro-magnetic stimulation technology for the neuroprosthetic application.

During the study, we demonstrated the effectiveness of magnetic stimulation from the submillimeter sized coil in activating retinal neurons. We have since shown that stimulation from the coil can also activate neurons of mouse brains. Through these efforts, we have developed a new cortically implantable micro-coil that is 100x smaller than the submillimeter sized coil. We have also demonstrated that the stimulation from the new micro-coils can activate the neural circuits of the brains of the anesthetized mice in vivo.

The goal of the Neural Interface Lab is to develop novel micro-coils for high-resolution neural interfaces. Current projects focus on:

  • Computational modeling of micro-coil designs.
  • Fabrication of micro-coil probe arrays.
  • Implementation of micro-coil drive system.
  • Evaluation of micro-coils using physiological experiments in vitro and in vivo.
    • Neural Recordings: Patch-clamp, Microelectrode Array (MEA).
    • Optical Neural Imaging: Calcium Fluorescence Imaging (e.g. GCaMP6).
  • Optimizing coil input parameters to provide precise control over the neural system.