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Course on Hybrid Neural Microsystems

Education Achievements

Course on Hybrid Neural Microsystems

Our Hybrid Neural Microsystems course combines problem-based learning with research-project design. The IGERT trainees and associates all take the course, in which they are provided with a biological system (cells or tissue) and with tools to electrically, mechanically, or optically manipulate the system. This year, the course used dissociated embryonic rat cortical grown on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) in order to study the dynamics of neuronal networks. The integration of technology with science facilitated the study of this complex biological system. By stimulating the culture with electrical impulses or chemical neurotransmitters, the students were able to elicit a neuronal response in the network. They then recorded the electrical signals or optical fluorescent signals, enabling them to elucidate system functionality. The course exposed students directly to the combination of biology and technology that facilitates real-time, closed-loop control of neuronal activity.