is pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering at University of California, Berkeley focusing on novel neural interfaces. He received his B.A. in Physics with a secondary in Computer Science from Harvard University in 2013. His undergraduate research focused on how simple organisms such as C. elegans and fruit flies integrate sensory stimuli into motor behavior.
Acoustic Detection of Neural Activity [BPN808]
There is a need for non-invasive methods of neural probing without genetic modification for both
clinical and scientific use. It has been found that action potentials are accompanied by small
nanometer-scale membrane deformations in firing neurons. These mechanical waves, known as “action
waves”, travel down axons in concert with action potentials and could be used to determine neuronal
activity. Because acoustic waves are far less lossy in the brain than electromagnetic waves, we believe
it may be possible to detect action waves from neurons up to 4 millimeters away with a micromachined
hydrophone. The detection of such acoustic signals could pave the way for both high resolution non-
invasive recordings of neuronal firing as well as implantable probes with recording volumes much larger
than conventional extracellular electrophysiological recording electrodes.