Multifunctional microelectronic fibers enable wireless modulation of gut and brain neural circuits


Progress in understanding brain–viscera interoceptive signaling is hindered by a dearth of implantable devices suitable for probing both brain and peripheral organ neurophysiology during behavior. Here we describe multifunctional neural interfaces that combine the scalability and mechanical versatility of thermally drawn polymer-based fibers with the sophistication of microelectronic chips for organs as diverse as the brain and the gut. Our approach uses meters-long continuous fibers that can integrate light sources, electrodes, thermal sensors and microfluidic channels in a miniature footprint. Paired with custom-fabricated control modules, the fibers wirelessly deliver light for optogenetics and transfer data for physiological recording. We validate this technology by modulating the mesolimbic reward pathway in the mouse brain. We then apply the fibers in the anatomically challenging intestinal lumen and demonstrate wireless control of sensory epithelial cells that guide feeding behaviors. Finally, we show that optogenetic stimulation of vagal afferents from the intestinal lumen is sufficient to evoke a reward phenotype in untethered mice.

Nature Biotechnology
Atharva Sahasrabudhe
Atharva Sahasrabudhe
Graduate Student

Graduate student

Sirma Orguc
Postdoc at MIT BCS (w/ Emery Brown)
Dekel Rosenfeld
Zuckerman Faculty Scholar, Tel Aviv University
Jimin Park
Assistant Professor at KAIST
Polina Anikeeva
Polina Anikeeva
Professor in Materials Science and Engineering
Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics

My goal is to combine the current knowledge of biology and nanoelectronics to develop materials and devices for minimally invasive treatments for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.