Next-generation bioelectronics using nanocarbons and carbides
Technologies that enable scientists to record and modulate neural activity across spatial scales are advancing the way that neurological disorders are diagnosed and treated, and fueling breakthroughs in our fundamental understanding of brain function. Despite the rapid pace of technology development, significant challenges remain in realizing safe, stable, and functional interfaces between manmade electronics and soft biological tissues. Additionally, technologies that employ multimodal methods to interrogate brain function across temporal and spatial scales, from single cells to large networks, offer insights beyond what is possible with electrical monitoring alone. However, the tools and methodologies to enable these studies are still in their infancy. Recently, carbon nanomaterials have shown great promise to improve performance and multimodal capabilities of bioelectronic interfaces through their unique optical and electronic properties, flexibility, biocompatibility, and nanoscale topology. Unfortunately, their translation beyond the lab has lagged due to a lack of scalable assembly methods for incorporating such nanomaterials into functional devices. In this talk, I’ll show how we leverage carbon nanomaterials to address several key limitations in the field of bioelectronic interfaces and outline the scalable fabrication methods we established to enable their translation beyond the lab. First, I’ll demonstrate the value of transparent, flexible electronics using graphene for multimodal mapping of brain activity to study seizure dynamics at the microscale. Then, I’ll show how we leveraged a recently discovered 2D nanomaterial, Ti3C2 MXene, for applications ranging from microscale recording and stimulation in the brain to large area epidermal interfaces.