Neural interface technologies stand to revolutionize disease care for patients with neurological conditions and in the future, the human experience. Today, there are two main classes of neural interface technologies: (1) brain-machine interfaces that record neural activity to control external devices and (2) neuromodulation technologies that provide stimulation to treat interactable neurological conditions. Unifying recording and stimulation technologies will enable intelligent, closed-loop devices that can monitor, learn, diagnose, and treat disease autonomously. In this talk I will present three classes of implantable neural interface technologies that enable bidirectional and closed-loop interactions with the brain and peripheral nervous system. These devices are based on integrated circuit and microsystems technologies that combine extreme miniaturization with advanced performance. I will start by presenting neuromodulation technology that combines high channel count neural recording with neurostimulation in a truly closed-loop manner. This technology will enable automated programming and adaptive, patient-specific therapies that will result in improved outcomes and reduced side effects. I will also present our work in the extreme miniaturization of recording and stimulating interfaces for the peripheral nervous system, and a new class of optical neural interfaces that will enable interactions with thousands of neurons with single-cell precision.
Rikky Muller, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is Co-director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC), a Core Member of the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses (CNEP) and an Investigator at the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub. Her research group focuses on emerging implantable medical devices and in developing low-power, wireless microelectronic and integrated systems for neurological applications. Prof. Muller is also the Co-founder of Cortera Neurotechnologies, Inc. a medical device company founded in 2013 that is commercializing a neural implant device and has released a family of products for the animal neuroscience research market. At Cortera, she held positions as CEO and CTO.
Prof. Muller received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, where she worked on cellular BioMEMS devices for pathogen detection. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering where she performed research on minimally invasive neural interfaces. After her graduate studies, she was a McKenzie Fellow and Lecturer of Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne in Australia where she continued research in medical bionics together with the school of Medicine. Prior to her Ph.D. she worked as an integrated circuit designer at Analog Devices. Prof. Muller has been recognized with numerous academic and industry fellowships and awards. She was named one of MIT Technology Review’s top 35 global innovators under the age of 35 (TR35) in 2015, and one of MedTech Boston’s top 40 healthcare innovators Under 40 in 2016. In 2017, she received the National Academy of Engineering Gilbreth Lectureship, the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigatorship, and the Keysight Early Career Professorship.