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.
Neural Dust: An Ultrasonic, Low Power Solution for Chronic BrainMachine Interfaces [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. We performed the
first in vitro experiments which verified that the predicted scaling effects follow theory and that
the extreme efficiency of ultrasonic transmission can enable the scaling of the sensing nodes down
to 10's of um. Such ultra-miniature as well as extremely compliant implantable neural interface
would pave the way for both truly chronic BMI and massive scaling in the number of neural recordings
from the nervous system.