Cristin Welle, PhD Receives Boettcher Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Award

Cristin WelleDevelopment of high-density neural sensors for bioelectronics therapeutics

Closed-loop neurotherapuetic devices utilizing high-density recording electrode arrays will bring a new era to the treatment of neurological and neuropsychatric disorders. Such devices have the potential to detect and interrupt seizures before they occur, provide dynamic calibration of deep brain stimulation based on the patient’s neural activity and produce extremely high-fidelity auditory and visual perceptions in deaf and blind patients. However, improved understanding of the long-term performance of the device materials and of the biological sequelae of chronic implantation of high-density arrays is needed to overcome current limitations in device longevity. Through the use of volumetric tissue clearing, chronic electrophysiology, in vivo two-photon imaging of neural structure and function, the effect of high density electrodes on neural circuits will be investigated. These experiments will clarify the role of electrode materials and structure on the success of high-density neural sensors, and pave the way for development of the next generation of neural interface technology.

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