Hybrid Neural Microsystems for Studying Signal Transduction in the Nervous System
Since the invention of compartmented neuronal culture systems by Robert Campenot in 1976, they have been used for a variety of in-vitro studies involving the exposure of selective parts of a neuron to different drug environments. Few studies currently employ the electrical stimulation and monitoring of neurons in these systems; however, the presence of electrodes? precisely aligned to the compartmented system would enable useful ?studies that would not be possible otherwise. These studies include the correlation of? pharmacological effects of drugs on different regions of neurons with? electrophysiological signals. By allowing for the drastic miniaturization of? compartments and the seamless integration of many electrodes, ? microfabrication? technology offers a unique and powerful set of tools to increase the? functionality of traditional compartmented culture systems. In this? presentation, I will talk about the design, fabrication, and ? characterization of a compartmented culture system inspired by microfabrication ? technology and? its use in answering unresolved questions about how signals are ? transduced in an? in-vitro model of neurodegeneration. I will also broadly discuss ? the efforts at? Georgia Tech and Sandia to build microsystems for neural interfacing.
Surendra K. Ravula received a B.S.E.E. in Electrical ? Engineering from Duke University in 2000 and the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2002 and ? 2006, respectively. He? is currently a Postdoctoral Appointee at Sandia National ? Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.? His research interests are in bioMEMS, microfluidics, neural ?interfacing, and electrophysiology implicated in human disease