(85d) Genetically-Targeted Brain-Machine Interface

Authors: 
Liu, J., Stanford University
Tom, A., Stanford University
Birey, F., Stanford University School of Medicine
Ramakrishnan, C., Stanford University
Bao, Z., Stanford University
Deisseroth, K., Stanford University
Interfacing with living neural circuits using high-speed electrophysiological tools has contributed substantially to basic neuroscience as well as to clinical neurology and psychiatry. However, the limited ability of these devices to interface with the intact living brain with specificity for cell types prevents both deeper understanding of neural circuit function and much needed precision for clinical intervention. Here, we present an unprecedented approach for a direct formation of electrical connections with targeted cells through the convergence of genetic engineering and polymer chemistry. With this method, novel genetically-targeted electronics are intrinsically assembled at the surface membrane of neurons both within functional neural tissue and in human 3D brain cultures derived from stem cells. This approach advances the field toward cell type-resolution electrical tuning of local neuronal activity, via bridging brain regions to external recording devices by precisely-defined high-speed pathways. Moreover, by enabling assessment and control of neural activity via fast genetically-targeted electrical connections, this technology may help broadly advance the understanding of neural circuit operation in health and disease, new treatment strategies for neuropsychiatric disease, and acceleration of the path toward specifically-enhanced sensation, cognition, and performance.