Regenerative peripheral neural interface

This is a collaborative project with Dr. Aaron Baker’s group at UT BME. We aim to develop a novel peripheral neural interface based on ultra-flexible regenerative nanoelectronics. Over the past years, considerable time and monetary investments have been made in the development of advanced neuroprosthetic devices, which hold great potential for the rehabilitation of patients who have lost limbs. However, the transition from laboratory-based, short-term demonstrations to reliable applications remains a critical challenge, mainly due to our limited capability of interfacing with the peripheral nervous system. Specifically, current peripheral neural interface devices lack the capability to perform high resolution and high channel-count recording/stimulation and to maintain a stable nerve interface in the long term. Both of these aspects are critical to achieving functional advanced prosthesis with precise control, multiple degrees of freedom, and long-term clinical reliability. Therefore, it is imperative to engineer the next generation neural interfaces that afford high-density and seamless nerve-implant integration to enable selective and chronically stable two-way communication with the peripheral nervous system. This project focuses on rationally optimizing neural interfaces using cutting-edge nanoelectronics and regenerative medicine techniques. We are developing a set of technologies to enable peripheral neural electrodes that have a high-density contact array, ultra-flexibility, and spatially defined biomaterials that promote neurovascular regeneration.