Design, Fabrication and Validation of Next-Generation Neural Interfacing Tools
9:30am - 10:30am
Zoom seminar: ID: 991 5659 5382


Over the past decade, researchers in the biomedical field have been requesting for a minimally-invasive tool capable of interfacing with hundreds of neurons anywhere in the CNS. A technology that can precisely modulate brain activity of the entire brain can potentially: (1) revolutionize our understanding of the brain by studying the correlations between neural networks from different regions of the brain and the mechanisms of cognitive functions; (2) treat mental health illnesses and brain disorders that affect distributed locations throughout the CNS (e.g., Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, mood disorder, OCD); and (3) cover a larger area in the sensorimotor cortex of amputees to more accurately control robotic prosthetic limbs or better evoke a sense of touch.

Non-invasive approaches such as magnetic and ultrasonic stimulation, are very promising for future systems, but currently lack the specificity needed to minimize side effects. Therefore, it is evident that electrical stimulation still has an important role to play in today’s clinical and research neuroscience as direct stimulation at the level of small ensembles of neurons or even individual neurons can be achieved using microelectrodes. Unfortunately, current state-of-the-art implantable technologies that rely on intracortical or depth electrodes are either limited in the number of sites and spatial extent coverable or become too invasive when multiple electrodes are implanted.

To overcome these limitations, a major goal of my research is to develop the next generation of chronic brain stimulation devices, which are basically minimally-invasive floating beads. In the context of my work, the term “floating” means that the single-channel device is wirelessly powered and can be injected anywhere in the brain. Some beads are wirelessly powered using an ultra-compact acoustically actuated magnetoelectric antenna and some are powered using an on-chip coil. The beads are considered to be a minimally-invasive technology for 3 main reasons: (1) the miniaturized devices are smaller than 0.009 mm3, making it the smallest wirelessly powered stimulator; (2) the beads are injectable using a minimally invasive surgical approach; (3) the beads are wirelessly powered using a transmitter coil which sits on top of the scalp.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Dr. Adam Khalifa
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Neurology


Dr. Adam Khalifa received the B.S and M.Phil. degrees in electronic and computer engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, in 2011 and 2013, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA, in 2019. As a T32 NIH fellow, he is currently working at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School on developing novel neural interface technologies and their validation in animal models. His research interests include low-power mixed-signal CMOS circuit design for neural interfaces, wireless power transfer systems, microfabricated electrodes, and packaging of implantable systems.

Recommended For
Faculty and staff
PG students
Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering
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