Gel-like Nano-devices for Non-invasive, Electrical and Chemical Recording of Neural Activities

2014 Seed Grant
SungWoo Nam, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering
University of Illinois

The soft, 3-dimensional (3D) nature of brain tissues requires that interrogating bioelectronics possess similar mechanical characteristics and dimensionality to such tissues. However, conventional electronics are typically constructed from hard, planar surfaces, which present substantial challenges for non-invasive, 3D interfacing with biological systems. This proposal focuses on developing an extremely soft (i.e., tofulike) 3D material system based on hybrid graphene-hydrogel for mechanically non-invasive, molecularscale resolution bioelectronic interfacing with brain tissues. Electrophysiological studies can shed light on diagnostics and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, and this project will be one of the first to develop mechanically non-invasive electrical and chemical recording of neural electrophysiological events in living neuron cells and tissues, which will be critical to the next generation of electrophysiology research of neurological disorders.