Biophysical characterization of the subdural local field potentials in mouse neocortex and fabricating low-impedance flexible electrode arrays

Background and Motivation

In our group, we can fabricate electrode arrays with low impedances on thin, flexible and transparent substrates. These electrode arrays allow us to record local field potentials and putative spikes from the surface of the brain. Currently, we would like to explore two directions with these arrays: (1) To verify the recording of the subdural spikes and to investigate their cell-type specific sources; (2) To the local field potentials we record from the electrodes in a quantitative manner.

Project Description

To work on these goals, I am currently in collaboration with two of my colleagues in the lab, who can perform fast wide-field imaging of thousands of superficial neurons in the neocortex at a cellular resolution. By this approach, we are aiming to have a unique dataset where we will have recorded the electrical activities of populations of neurons in the form of local field potentials (--and possibly spikes) and have access to the activities and the spatial locations of the underlying thousands of neurons via optical imaging. As a result of this added information, the possibility of a more quantitative analysis of the spatiotemporal structure of the surface LFPs opens up.

Depending on the interests and motivation of the student, they can work on either one or both of the following aspects of the project: (1) Fabrication and assembly of uECoG arrays and doing the further optimizations in hardware needed for facilitating simultaneous electrophysiology recordings and optical imaging; (2) Analysis of the data and verifying empirical findings with biophysically realistic simulations of local field potentials.

Recommend Background

Background in physical sciences or engineering is strongly preferred; any background on in vivo electrophysiology is bonus. Experience with Python would be very helpful for data analysis and simulations.

The student will have the opportunity to work in a cleanroom environment for microfabrication in case of a master thesis. For semester projects, this is not possible due to logistical reasons.

Contact

If interested, please e-mail me at yasart at ethz.ch with your CV and/or a short description of your background and interests, and we can arrange a time to meet to discuss further details.

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