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Dongjin Seo, Ph.D. 2016

Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Maharbiz/Alon
Research Interests: My research interests generally lie in the topics that intersects electrical engineering, applied physics, and bioengineering. Particularly, I am currently exploring the relams of low-power integrated circuit design, biosensor/circuit interfaces, and next-generation wireless circuits and systems for communication.
Job Interests: Academic, industry R&D, or start-up

Dongjin (DJ) Seo is currently pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on low-power integrated circuit design and brain-machine interfaces. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering with honors from the California Institute of Technology in 2011. At Caltech, DJ designed and fabricated microfluidic calorimeters for high-throughput biochemical measurements at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute and for his undergraduate thesis, demonstrated the world’s first all-silicon THz imaging system in CMOS for security imaging and microscopy of biological specimens. DJ has also completed internships at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Altera Corporations. DJ is the recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Ultrasonic Wireless Implants for Neuro-modulation [BPN716]
A major hurdle in brain-machine interfaces (BMI) is the lack of an implantable neural
interface system that remains viable for a substantial fraction of a primate lifetime. Recently,
sub-mm implantable, wireless electromagnetic (EM) neural interfaces have been demonstrated in an
effort to extend system longevity. However, EM systems do not scale down in size well due to the
severe inefficiency of coupling radio waves at mm and sub-mm scales. We propose an alternative
wireless power and data telemetry scheme using distributed, ultrasonic backscattering systems to
record high frequency (~kHz) neural activity. Such systems will require two fundamental
technology innovations: 1) thousands of 10 – 100 um scale, free-floating, independent sensor
nodes, or neural dust, that detect and report local extracellular electrophysiological data
via ultrasonic backscattering, and 2) a sub-cranial ultrasonic interrogator that establishes
power and communication links with the neural dust. To test the feasibility of this approach,
we performed the first in-vivo experiments in the rat model, where we were able to recover mV-
level action potential signals from the peripheral nerves. Further miniaturization of
implantable interface based on ultrasound would pave the way for both truly chronic BMI and
massive scaling in the number of neural recordings from the nervous system.

Current Active Projects:

     Last Updated: Fri 2016-Dec-02 12:57:09

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