Area II: Multifunctional interfaces with central and peripheral nervous systems

Multifunction devices for Brain-Body Neuroscience

To understand the signaling complexity in neural circuits, while matching the mechanical and chemical properties of tissues and organs, we design miniature, soft, and flexible multifunctional devices capable of electrical, optical, and chemical interrogation of neuronal activity. Devices capable of interfacing with organs as diverse as the brain, spinal cord, and the gastrointestinal tract, demand versatility in materials, designs, and fabrication approaches to adapt to the target organ anatomy and physiology. We combine scalable fiber drawing with additive/subtractive manufacturing and traditional lithographic techniques to seamlessly integrate polymers, metals, composites, and solid-state microelectronics into multifunctional probes with microscale features. Our fiber-based probes have enabled optogenetics, electrophysiology, and drug and gene delivery in the brain (Nat. Biotech.) and spinal cord (Sci. Adv.) of behaving rodents (Nat. Neurosci.) and have recently permitted multifunctional interrogation of neuronal signaling (Sci. ADv.) in non-human primates performing complex tasks. More recently, we have created wireless probes that enabled optical neuromodulation and physiological recordings across gut and the brain, allowing for long-term studies of gut-brain circuits in behaving subjects (Nat. Biotech.). Our current work seeks to expand the palette of functional features in diverse device architectures to advance the basic understanding of brain-body neural circuits as well as develop bioelectronic therapies for neurobiological disorders.

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.