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H2020 ERC - Proof of Concept Grant 2021-2023

INtroDucing axial rEsolution in oPToelectronic implantable devices for tHe brain

Abstract: IN DEPTH aims at developing the first brain implantable device able to gather simultaneously electrophysiology and optical signals with depth resolution and reduced invasiveness. Neuroscientists and neurosurgeons are indeed still limited in accessing and addressing deep brain structures, while the field would instead greatly benefit of low-invasiveness probes monitoring bio-electronic and optical signals with spatial resolution, for both neuroscience and neurosurgery applications. IN DEPTH will answer to the stakeholders needs with a close-to-market fully-integrated device based on minimally invasive tapered optical fibers (TFs) for multipoint light collection and electrophysiology. The system aims at novel applications in both neuroscience research and neurosurgery, with particular reference to cerebral disfunctions including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, or epilepsy, and to fluorescence-guided resection of brain tumors, giving neurosurgeons the possibility to check also the tumor depth and monitor electrical activity during surgery. These aims will be achieved by implementing innovative and high-throughput fabrication process developed for non-planar surfaces, aiming at full compatibility with bench-top equipment for electrophysiology, optophysiology and neurosurgery.

Total budget: 150000.0€

Total contribution: 150000.0€


H2020 ERC - Starting Grant 2016-2022

Multipoint Optical DEvices for Minimally invasive neural circuits interface

Abstract: Among the neuroscience community there is widespread agreement that innovative research tools are required to better understand the incredible structural and functional complexity of the brain. To this aim, optical techniques based on genetically encoded neural activity indicators and actuators have represented a revolution for experimental neuroscience, allowing genetic targeting of specific classes of neurons and brain circuits. However, for optical approaches to reach their full potential, we need new generations of devices able to better interface with the extreme complexity and diversity of brain topology and connectivity. MODEM aspires to develop innovative technologies for multipoint optical neural interfacing with the mammalian brain in vivo. We are developing new approaches for modal multiplexing and de-multiplexing of light into a single, thin, minimally invasive tapered optical fiber serving as a carrier for multipoint signals to and from the brain. This will be achieved through nano- and micro-structuring of the taper edge, capitalizing on the photonic properties of the tapered waveguide to precisely control light delivery and collection in vivo. The overall objectives of the MODEM project are: 1) Development of minimally invasive technologies for versatile, user-defined optogenetic control over deep brain regions; 2) Development of fully integrated high signal-to- noise-ratio optrodes; 3) Development of minimally invasive technologies for multi-point in vivo all-optical “electrophysiology” through a single waveguide; 4) Development of new optical methodologies for dissecting brain circuitry at small and large scales

Total budget: 1996250.0€

Total contribution: 1996250.0€

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