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Perspective on the problems of neural recording

Research Achievements

Perspective on the problems of neural recording

Nicolas Alba is a BioEngineering student with a background in materials science and engineering, specializing in polymers and biomaterials. His advisor, Professor Tracy Cui, works on improving the design of probes for neural recording. Nicolas received IGERT funding to explore the physiological consequences of the microinjection of the enzyme chondroitinase ABC into rat cortical tissue, with the goal of disrupting he glial scarring that can result from probe insertion, through the digestion of the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans that serve as an important structural element within scar tissue.

Nicholas learned procedures for cannula implantation surgery, animal sacrifice, perfusion, and tissue handling (sectioning, staining, and imaging using both flurorescent and confocal systems.) This has given him a broader perspective on the problems of neural recording. In the next stage of his work he will evaluate the effects of chondroitin on electode impedance and neural recording quality.