The human brain contains about a hundred of billions of neurons, communicating with electrical and chemical signals into an extraordinary complex network. Most of these circuits, however, 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.
Our lab is equipped with state-of-the-art optical and spectroscopic instrumentation for fiber photometry, Raman spectroscopy, multiphoton imaging and time-correlated single photon counting, all of them integrated with the multipoint tapered optical fiber technology. Our devices are engineered at the micro- and nano-fabrication facility at the Center For Biomolecular Nanotechnologies, including 300sq meters of Cleanroom and Back End Lab for MEMS technology and, in particular, a Dual Beam electron and ion microscope for focused ion beam induced milling and deposition at nanometer scale.
- Bernardo Sabatini, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
- Ileana Hanganu-Opaz, Hamburg Medical University, Hamburg, Germany
- Patrick Ruther, IMTEK, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
- Adam Hantman, HHMI - Janelia, USA
ERC Starting Grant 2016 - 2021 MODEM - Multipoint Optical DEvices for Minimally invasive neural circuits interface