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Focus Session 3

Stephanie Lacour

EPFL, Switzerland
Presenter Bio
Abstract: Approaches to soft BCIs
Electrocorticography (ECoG) is a well-known technique that allows, in the clinic, for the recording of brain signals with high signal-to-noise ratio to conduct functional mapping during resection surgery but also dynamic monitoring about task-related activity such as motor execution, auditory or visual processing. The introduction of soft materials and microtechnology provide an opportunity to tailor the design of soft ECoG grids with customized electrode sizes and layouts and that intimately conform the convoluted surface of the brain.  We will report on the design, manufacturing and use of microfabricated silicone-based thin-film ECoGs for translational research. Soft ECoGs, scaled to the human brain, can be folded and deployed to access usually unreachable brain regions. Routine Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is possible as the thin-film ECoGs do not induce imaging artifact or hazardous heating. Acute recordings of somatosensory evoked potentials demonstrate potential for high-resolution brain mapping. In a freely moving minipig, a 32-channel soft ECoG grid implanted over the motor cortex reliably capture brain activity during vocalization after two weeks. Such soft neurotechnology opens up exciting opportunities for diagnostic or innovative therapies such as brain-computer interfaces for restoration of motor, language or other neural functions that are presently limited or unexplored due to current technological limitations.

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