Flexible electronics as a platform for neuroscience : exploring the dynamics of aging, neurodegeneration, and novel animal models
- Fundamental knowledge about the brain is primarily acquired through two distinct groups of methods. Techniques with low spatiotemporal resolution, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), have provided insights into meso- and macroscopic neural activity. Owing to their noninvasiveness and growing availability to the general population, these techniques enable longitudinal studies of changes in brain states in the same individuals. Conversely, high spatiotemporal resolution techniques, such as single-neuron electrophysiology and imaging, have facilitated a deep understanding of the basic building blocks of the brain, from individual ion channels to single-neuron activity, and to region-wide dynamics of neuronal circuitry. However, high spatiotemporal techniques have largely been precluded from translating to long-term studies because of their invasiveness and a mismatch of properties with neural tissue. This spatiotemporal span (cross-sectional vs. longitudinal) and resolution gap has led to a significant division in our exploration of the brain's dynamics. This dissertation aims to explore flexible electronics, a recently developed electrophysiology tool, as a platform for bridging this very gap to enable a new longitudinal understanding of the brain at the single-neuron resolution. In Chapter 1, I provide background on the electric basis of neuronal communication, a historical perspective on methods used to electrically interface with the nervous system, and present an argument for developing more compliant, brain-like neural probes. Chapter 2 introduces flexible electronics as a competitive class of neural probes for interfacing with the brain as compared with conventional neurotechnologies and reviews the properties and previous applications of bioinspired, brain-like mesh electronics. In Chapter 3, I present key hardware improvements made to the mesh electronics platform to enable chronic interfacing with the brain. Chapter 4 reviews work conducted to facilitate simultaneous electrophysiology and behavioral neuroscience through the integration of a virtual reality (VR) system. Chapter 5 is centered around work measuring the longitudinal neural correlates of aging and neurodegeneration in wildtype (WT) and 3xTg Alzheimer's Disease (AD) mouse models, respectively. In Chapter 6, I introduce a novel application of mesh electronics to studying spatial cognition in a nonstandard amphibian model, the cane toad (Rhinella marina). Finally, I present a broad outlook for the future of flexible electronics and its applications to neuroscience.
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Woods, Grace Ann
|Degree committee member
|Stanford University, School of Humanities and Sciences
|Stanford University, Department of Applied Physics
|Statement of responsibility
|Grace Ann Woods.
|Submitted to the Department of Applied Physics.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2023.
- © 2023 by Grace Ann Woods
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-SA).
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