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Colloquia & Guest Speakers


Reconfigurable Nanophotonics Platform for High Resolution In Vivo Optogenetic Neural Excitation

Dr. Andrea Armani, University of Southern California

Monday, February 26, 2018
3:00 p.m.
Goergen 101

Aseema Mohanty


Optogenetics has revolutionized the study of neural function and connectivity by using light to control the activation and inhibition of neural activity with millisecond precision. High spatial and temporal resolution deep-brain optical excitation would enable activation of specific neural populations and lead to more comprehensive studies of neural circuits that are currently not possible. The scalability and versatility of integrated nanophotonics could enable neural excitation over large areas with single-cell resolution on an implantable probe. However, active control of these optical circuits has yet to be demonstrated for visible wavelengths, including those specific to optogenetic excitation (400 – 600 nm). We will discuss an active nanophotonics platform enabling control of multiple beams for deep-brain neural stimulation. We generate precise and repeatable complex spatiotemporal neural spike patterns in vivo with high spatial and temporal resolution using a fully packaged device inserted into the mouse brain. We will also discuss how active switching on a nanophotonics platform provides the reconfiguration capabilities necessary for highly-multiplexed optical circuits that could enable high-resolution optogenetics for deep brain regions.


Aseema Mohanty is a Ph.D. student in Professor Michal Lipson’s group at Columbia University (formerly at Cornell University) in the Electrical Engineering Department. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her undergraduate research focused on optoelectronic devices for renewable energy applications. Her graduate research has focused on expanding the capabilities of the nanophotonics platform for visible wavelength applications including mode-division multiplexing for quantum information systems and switching networks for optical neural interfaces. Aseema Mohanty was a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and will receive her Ph.D. from Cornell University in December 2017.

Location:  Goergen 101

Refreshments will be served.