New Technologies for Neuroscience Research

Multifunctional Neural Interfaces

Dr. Ferruccio Pisanello - Prof. Massimo De Vittorio

The human brain contains about a hundred of billions of neurons, communicating with electrical and chemical signals within an extraordinary complex network. Most of these circuits are still unrevealed, and unlocking them will result in new understandings on how the brain works, and on new therapies for neural disorders and neural diseases. We aim at exploiting advanced micro- and nano-fabrication techniques to build new devices for studying brain microcircuitry.

The core building block of our research are tapered and nano-structured multipoint emitting optical fibers, and our technology targets the integration of multiple functionalities in only one and minimally invasive device that can, simultaneously, interface with multiple regions of the brain with high spatial and temporal resolution. We seek at creating a synergy of ingoing and outward optical signals, low- and high-frequency recording of neural activity and readout of neurotransmitters kinetic, providing novel tools for neuroscientists to address longstanding questions about brain functional connectivity.