Bioengineering 421 --- Neural Engineering
Instructor: Albert Folch, Associate Professor, Bioengineering
Course Description:This course is an introduction to Neural Engineering. It introduces technologies for monitoring electrical activity at scales ranging from whole organ (wireless EEG, implantable microelectrodes, olfactogram) to single cells (patch clamp techniques, microelectrode arrays, calcium imaging); technologies for stimulation of neurons in vivo (cortical microelectrodes) and in vitro (iontophoresis, uncaging, microfluidics); and devices for replacement of neural function (implantable electrodes, brain-computer interfaces, artificial retina, neurorobotics). The course includes visits to neural engineering laboratories in the UW campus following lectures by world leaders, e.g. Karl Bohringer (EE; implantable microelectrodes), Brian Otis (EE; wireless transduction of neural recordings), Adrienne Fairhall (P-Bio; computational models of neuronal activity), Eb Fetz (P-Bio; brain-computer interfaces).
Catalog Description: This course introduces students to the broad field of Neural Engineering. Examines technologies for monitoring neural activity in vivo (whole brain, from human to small animals), devices for replacing or restoring neural function, devices for in-vitro neuroscience, and computational and imaging approaches.
Goals: For students to acquire the necessary tools and knowledge for understanding the fundamentals of engineering neural systems and their impact on human health.
At the end of this course students will be able to:
- Learn which technologies are available for recording and stimulating signals from the nervous system at various length and time scales.
- Understand the physical principles and limitations for the various neuro-imaging modalities.
- Learn from the success story of Neural Engineering: The Cochlear Implant.
- Design a microfluidic device for neuronal culture
Neural Engineering, Bin He (Ed.).
Reference text: None.
1) Introduction to neural science.
2) Basics of ion channel physiology and neuronal excitability.
3) Implantable microelectrodes.
4) Wireless communication devices for neural recording and stimulation.
6) Brain Imaging (fMRI, PET, etc.)
7) Brain-Computer Interfaces
9) Cochlear Implants
10) Retinal Prostheses
11) Ultrasound for healing nerves and pain treatment
12) Neural Prostheses for locomotion and hand grasp
14) Radiation therapy
15) In-vitro neuroscience: Neuronal cell culture technology
16) Neuroinstrumentation: Patch clamp chips; Iontophoresis
17) Imaging and computational approaches: The Brain Atlas; BrainBow Project.
Course Structure: The class meets for two lectures a week (WF). There is weekly homework due. Grading is based on homework (50%), one midterm exam (25%), and a lab report (25%). The nature of the exams are left to the discretion of the instructor.
Computer Resources: N/A.
If possible (as Dr. Jay Rubinstein’s clinical schedule permits), a one-session lab on cochlear implants will be held; this lab session involves visiting with patients who have an implant, a session to test cochlear implant electronics, and a follow-up lecture by Dr. Rubinstein. In addition, a 3-session lab will be held in Dr. Folch’s lab to design and build microfluidic neuronal cultures.
“Neural Engineering” offers interactive lectures, weekly assignments (design challenges and critical literature reviews), and visits to UW labs related to Neural Engineering. As such, this course addresses certain ABET outcome criteria at a variety of levels.
Specific outcomes in “Neural Engineering” and their assessment mechanisms to be used by the department for program assessment are:
- (c) To communicate effectively (literature assignments and lab visits). The students are engaged by the instructor to participate in lecture discussions. In all written exercises, clarity in writing is part of the grade.
- (e) Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (lectures and design challenges). Lectures typically present a challenge (e.g. “design a device that transduces visual input to the visual cortex directly”) ahead of the technological solution; the students are actively engaged in a discussion to identify other approaches to solve the problem.
- (f) An understanding of biology and physiology (literature assignments and lab reports). In all written exercises, the students must demonstrate a clear understanding of the basic principles of biology and physiology.