Copying brain with silicon chip

15 Mar
Applied Physics Colloquia
Donhee Ham
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Maxwell Dworkin G115

Massively parallel, intracellular recording of a large number of neurons across a network is a great technological pursuit in neurobiology, but it has not been achieved. The intracellular recording by the patch clamp electrode boasts unparalleled sensitivity that can measure down to sub-threshold synaptic events, but it is too bulky to be scaled into a dense array: so far only ~10 parallel patch recordings have been done. In contrast, the microelectrode array can record from many more neurons, but this extracellular technique has too low a sensitivity to tap into synaptic activities. In this talk, I would like to share our on-going effort with Prof. Hongkun Park (Harvard Chemistry & Physics), a silicon chip that conducts intracellular recording from thousands of connected neurons, and discuss a number of applications in high-throughput drug screening, functional connectome mapping, and copying biological neuronal network for machine intelligence.

Speaker Bio: 

Donhee Ham ( is Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and EE at Harvard (BS: Seoul National University; PhD: Caltech). The intellectual focus of his group at Harvard is on quantum and low-dimensional devices, neuro-electronic interface, NMR biomolecular spectroscopy, and integrated circuits.

Federico Capasso
Deni Peric