Lecture notes

Applications of neural microsystems (P-ITBIO-0042 – annualy in Spring semester at PPCU).

PhD topics

Proposals to be discussed via e-mail on a continuous basis.

Topic: In vivo characterization of multimodal microdevices for infrared neural stimulation
Supervisor: Z. Fekete

The candidate will design and test an application specific multimodal microdevice, which is able to thermally excite neuronal population without cross-talk between thermal actuator (integrated infrared waveguide) and electrical recording. He/she will perform systematic stimulation experiments in combination with immunohistology to determine the parameter space of safe in vivo operation in rodents. Using a multimodal neuroimaging scheme, the effect of the microdevice induced infrared neural stimulation method on cortical connectivity will be investigated in combination with recording electrocorticograms of high spatial resolution. The microfabrication and neurosurgery background will be provided by the Centre for Energy Research and Pázmány Péter Catholic University, respectively.

Bsc/Msc topics

latest update: 10/02/2019

Foreigners interested in doing their bachelor, master study in our lab are welcome to contact us via e-mail.

Topic: Measurement automation to control brain-machine interfaces
Supervisor: Á. Cs. Horváth

Multifunctional optical actuators implantable into neural tissue are manufactured in the MEMS lab of MTA EK MFA. The applicant has to create a Matlab or Labview-based control system which can realize neural stimulation by the infrared irradiation of the optical actuators, and based on the registered input data of the integrated sensors of the optical actuator (tissue temperature, electrophysiological signals) the stimulating parameters during further in vitro and in vivo experiments can be adjusted and controlled in constant and pulsed mode as well. Hardware components and necessary software are all available. This topic is suitable for a further desired TDK work.

Topic: Infrared neural stimulation using novel brain-machine interfaces
Supervisor: Á. Cs. Horváth

It is known from experiments that changes in body temperature affect electrical signals and metabolic processes in the brain. In the MEMS lab of MTA EK MFA microsystems implantable into neural tissue are manufactured for exploring these connections. The applicant has to observe the functioning of the integrated thermal sensors and optical actuators in experimental conditions, and has to calibrate them in vitro. Beyond designing and assemling the measuring system the applicant has to fulfil documented functional tests of the implantable microtools. This topic is suitable for a further desired TDK work.

Topic: Process development to optimize polymer based brain-machine interfaces
Supervisor: A. Zátonyi

Our research group is developing flexible, less invasive,  polymer based microelectrode arrays that fits to the curvilinear surface of the brain. Among our expectations arrays should be able to record high temporal resolution electrophysiology signals from the cortical surface combined with high spatial resolution imaging techniques. Its microfabrication relies on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technologies including photolithography, bulk micromachining and thin film deposition. The applicant will be involved in the semiconductor and microtechnology process and has to optimize diverse microfabrication steps. Experimental result will be evaluated using optical and scanning electron microscopy.

Topic: Development of image processing tools to investigate the interaction of neuronal cells and nanostructured SU8 polymer interfaces
Supervisor: Á. Szabó

Foreign body response to neural implants is of high importance affecting device functionality of current neuroprosthetic devices. The applicant may join an ongoing research on the interaction of nanostructured SU-8 polymer surfaces and neural cells. Evaluation of in vitro assays should be performed based on fluorescent microscopy and image processing in Matlab. Detection of cells, their viability and attachment of various surface topographies should be implemented and analyzed. Development of detection algorithms should be also able to address the evolution of dendrite and axon growth.