IBS Institute for Basic Science
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NEURAL ENGINEERING GROUP

 

Breakthroughs in neuroscience research have highly relied on the advancement of technologies. The neural engineering group focuses on developing novel technologies to address pressing problems in the neuroscience field by integrating material science, biochemical engineering, and photonics. We primarily focus on recording and modulating neural functions (e.g. neural activity, neurotransmitter release) at a molecular/cellular level in live animals, from rodents to nonhuman primates. The Neural engineering group collaborates closely with other research groups to provide technical support in times of need.

 

 

Multifunctional Soft-Electronics Lab

We are exploring classes of materials and designs that enable to study neuroscience and neural engineering. We pursue not only basic scientific studies in this area, but also engineering efforts to build functional system that adopt bio-inspired designs or require intimate integration with human body. Examples of the former include spider sensory inspired flexible sensor that exploit new challenging of mechanical signal detection. Examples of the latter includes miniaturized optical stimulator using conventional LEDs for wireless optogenetics, and high resolution mapping of electrophysiology and neuro-chemicals in deep brain.

 

 

Protein Design & Protein Materials Lab

 

Our biomaterial design lab focuses on design and structural characterization of protein-based biomaterials that can be toward to make cellular and molecular therapies effective and practical approaches eventually to treat disease. New biomaterials are now designed rationally or computationally with controlled assembly structure and dynamic functionality to integrate with biological complexity and perform tailored, high-level functions in the body. These biomaterials designs are used to study the mechanisms by which chemical or mechanical signals are sensed by cells, alter cell function and further brain function in vivo.

 

 

Neurophotonics Lab

Imaging and controlling cellular behaviors by light in living natural environments has become indispensable tool in neuroscience. Even with decades of research, several fundamental problems are still unresolved; light penentration depth is limited by exponential optical loss in tissues, longitudinal observation of the same region-of-interest is troublesome due to hemodynamic motion, and nanoscopic information is inaccessible due to diffraction-limit. We are trying to provide innovative solutions to these challenges, and are further interrogating pressing neuroscience questions using the light-based tools we developed.