108. electro-optrical mechanically flexible (eo-flex) nanoprobes
Name: Spencer Patrick Ward
Grad Year: 2019
Conor Riley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The EO-FLEX project aims to develop minimally invasive nanoprobes enabling electro-optical interfacing of intrinsic neural circuits. EO-FLEX probes will offer a unique combination of millimeter lengths and sub-micron widths, which preserve flexibility for tissue conformation and minimize inflammatory response. The team is nano-engineering the EO-FLEX probes to route signals in both optical and electrical modalities over distances in excess of 2 mm for long-term, minimally-invasive access to difficult to reach peripheral nerve structures. EO-FLEX probes utilize an optically-transparent SnO2 nanofiber core . Program efforts to date have centered on obtaining low-loss optical coupling to nanofibers and engineering high conductivity coatings to reduce electrical impedance. Due to their sub-micron cross-sections, evanescent coupling is preferred for interfacing fiber light sources. Figure 1 (left) is a snapshot of coupling a nanofiber to a fiber taper. Replacement of fiber tapers with side-polished fibers is under development to promote assembly strength. Sputtered gold coatings with minimal thickness meet the electrical resistivity targets for the probes, see Figure 1 (top right). Atomic-layer deposition of less conductive materials is under consideration for more conformal coatings (bottom right). Ultimately, the effectiveness of EO-FLEX nanoprobes for optogenetics and electrophysiology will be verified in the sciatic nerves of transgenic mice.
Industry Application Area(s)
Electronics/Photonics | Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials