Layered Nanocomposite for Implantable Neural Prosthetic Devices

Neural prosthetic devices (NPDs) have attracted considerable attention in the fields of fundamental and clinical neuroscience. Current NPDs induce chronic inflammation due to the staggering discrepancies of mechanical properties with neural tissue, relatively large size of the implants, and traumas to the blood-brain barrier. Mitigation of these issues requires a new generation of NPDs based on flexible and conductive materials. Layered nanocomposite materials from carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles can serve as a promising material foundation for neural interface applications. We systematically investigated the mechanical and electrochemical aspects of different nanocomposite materials. Our study determined the appropriate mechanical and electrochemical performance of the nanocomposite for neural interface application. Furthermore, optimized nanocomposite based NPDs were fabricated by standard semiconductor processes and implanted in vivo for acute neural recording.

Short Bio:

Huanan Zhang received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 and his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from University of Michigan in 2014. He is currently a postdoctoral scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His current research interests include nanocomposite for neural interface applications, multiplexing nanowire biosensor, and plasmonic nanostructures for bio-optical applications.