Bioelectronics for Brain and Heart: From Tissue-Like Electronics and Genetically-Targeted Electrodes to Whole-Organ Interface

18 Oct
Topics in Bioengineering
Jia Liu, Stanford (New SEAS Faculty)
Thursday, October 18, 2018 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm
60 Oxford Street, Room 330

Rapid progress in materials science and electronics has blurred the distinction between man-made electronic devices and biological systems. Seamless integration of high-performance electronic devices with living systems could contribute substantially to basic biology as well as to clinical diagnostics and therapeutics through tissue-electronics interfaces. In this presentation, I will discuss a syringe-injectable tissue-like mesh electronics for merging nanoelectronic arrays and circuits with the brain in three-dimension (3D). The injectable mesh electronics has micrometer feature size and effective bending stiffness values similar to neural tissues leading to the gliosis-free and 3D interpenetrated electronics-neuron network, enabling the chronically stable neuron activity recording with single-neuron resolution in behaving animals. Second, I will describe a fully stretchable electronic sensor array through the development and lithographic assemble of multiple chemically-orthogonal and intrinsically stretchable polymeric electronic materials. The fully stretchable sensor array has modulus similar to biological tissues, allowing its intimate mechanical coupling with heart and peripheral nerves for stable and anatomically precise electrophysiological recording and stimulation. I will discuss its application for high-throughput and high-density mapping of 3D cardiac arrhythmogenic activities at cellular resolution on the porcine model with a chronic atrial fibrillation and its application for long-term stable, low-voltage stimulation on sciatic nerves. Third, I will present a fundamentally new approach for a direct formation of electrical connections with genetically-targeted cells. This approach is accomplished through the convergence of genome engineering, in situ enzymatic reaction and polymer chemistry. These genetically-targeted electrodes are inherently assembled to the subcellular-specific region of neurons throughout the intact functional neural tissue and in patient-specific stem cell-derived human brain organoids. Importantly, this system also enables the cellular or even subcellular-resolution tuning of local neuronal activity and bridging of brain regions to external devices for the genetically-targeted electrical interrogation. Finally, I will discuss the prospects for future advances in bioelectronics to overcome challenges in neuroscience and cardiology through the development of bioelectronics for whole-brain and heart electrical interface with single-cell and millisecond spatiotemporal resolution, and cell-type specificity.

Speaker Bio: 

Dr. Jia Liu obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, in 2009. He then obtained his Ph.D., along with a short postdoctoral stay, with Prof. Charles M. Lieber at Harvard University in 2014. Dr. Liu performed his postdoctoral research on polymeric bioelectronics with Prof. Zhenan Bao, Prof. Karl Deisseroth and Prof. Anson Lee since 2015. Dr. Liu will officially join Harvard University as Assistant Professor in Bioengineering on Jan. 1, 2019.   

Jennifer Vasquez