High-Resolution Brain Machine Interfaces using Flexible Silicon Electronics

Jonathan Viventi
Duke University
Monday, March 27
4:00 – 5:00 pm
SEH Lehman Auditorium, B1220


Current implantable brain devices for clinical and research applications require that each electrode is individually wired to a separate electronic system.  Establishing a high-resolution interface over broad regions of the brain is infeasible under this constraint, as an electrode array with thousands of passive contacts would require thousands of wires to be individually connected.  To overcome this limitation, we have developed new implantable electrode array technology that incorporates active, flexible electronics.  This technology has enabled extremely flexible arrays of 1,024 electrodes and soon, thousands of multiplexed and amplified sensors spaced as closely as 250 µm apart, which are connected using just a few wires. These devices yield an unprecedented level of spatial and temporal micro-electrocorticographic (µECoG) resolution for recording and stimulating distributed neural networks.  I will present the development of this technology and data from in vivo recordings. I will also present examples of finely detailed spatial and temporal patterns from feline neocortex that give rise to seizures and suggest new stimulation paradigms to treat epilepsy. Finally, I will discuss new electrode designs and supporting hardware to enable chronic implantation of µECoG arrays with multiplexed recording and stimulation to enable a bi-directional interface with the brain.  

Jonathan Viventi is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. Dr. Viventi earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.Eng. and B.S.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. Dr. Viventi's research applies innovations in flexible electronics, low power analog circuits, and machine learning to create new technology for interfacing with the brain at a much finer scale and with broader coverage than previously possible. He creates new tools for neuroscience research and technology to diagnose and treat neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. Using these tools, he collaborates with neuroscientists and clinicians to explore the fundamental properties of brain networks in both health and disease. His research program works closely with industry, including filing five patents and several licensing agreements. His work has been featured as cover articles in Science Translational Medicine and Nature Materials, and has also appeared in Nature Neuroscience, the Journal of Neurophysiology, and Brain. For these achievements, Dr. Viventi was selected to the 2014 MIT Technology Review “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” and the 2014 Popular Science “Brilliant 10” lists.