MSE Fall Seminar Series 2022: Speaker Professor Guosong Hong
Title: Seeing the Sound: Optical and Ultrasonic Brain Interfaces Based on Materials Advances
Abstract:Today’s optical neuromodulation and imaging methods enable causal manipulation of neural activity to dissect complex circuit connections underlying certain behaviors and facilitate brain-computer interfaces. In these approaches, visible light is commonly used, thus limiting penetration depth in vivo and necessitating an invasive procedure that damages the endogenous brain tissue and constrains the subject’s free behavior. In this talk, I will present three recently developed methods to address these challenges based on novel material advances: sono-optogenetics, infrared optogenetics, and an intravascular light source. In sono-optogenetics, we demonstrate that mechanoluminescent materials can convert focused ultrasound into localized light emission for noninvasive optogenetic neuromodulation in live mice. In addition, inspired by the infrared sensitivity of rattlesnakes, we developed an approach to use brain-penetrant infrared light for tether-free and implant-free neuromodulation throughout the entire brain in freely behaving mice. Lastly, we leveraged a biomineral-inspired approach to synthesize nanoscopic phosphors as an intravascular light source. In contrast to conventional external light sources, this intravascular light source offers deeper tissue penetration for imaging the mouse brain through the uncleared skull. I will conclude my talk by presenting an outlook on how advances in materials science may facilitate our understanding of the mind.
Biography: Dr. Guosong Hong received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University in 2014 and then carried out postdoctoral studies with at Harvard University. Dr. Hong joined Stanford Materials Science and Engineering and Neurosciences Institute as an assistant professor in September 2018. His research at Stanford aims to develop and apply novel optical and electronic materials for minimally invasive brain interfacing. He is a recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) Award, the MIT Technology Review ‘35 Innovators Under 35’ Award, the Science PINS Prize for Neuromodulation, the NSF CAREER Award, the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award.