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Hybrid MEMS Assembly for Optogenetics based biomedical applications

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nilhil Ponon


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In this talk the speaker decribes how biomedical engineering exploits different technology platforms through heterogeneous integration. This is key for realising more-than-Moore concepts in integrated circuit fabrication. For biomedical devices, the direction is now towards mixed technology platforms which include CMOS digital, analog and memory chips with MEMS sensor devices, actuators and optoelectronics. The main challenge here is not miniaturisation, but 2D and 3D integration and hybrid assembly into a single tiny package while considering biocompatibility. This ambition is essential for next generation neural implants and many future biomedical engineering innovations. In CANDO (Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics using Optogenetics) researchers from leading UK universities are developing a cortical brain implant for optogenetic neural control. The goal is to create a first-in-human trial in patients with focal epilepsy. This is achieved through a small brain implant to modulate abnormal brain activity and seizure development. This MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) implant, or optrode, provides continuous brain wave monitoring via recording electrodes. A gene therapy is used to make some neurons sensitive to light, a technique known as optogenetics. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the optrode can then be used to stimulate neurons in such a way as to prevent an epileptic seizure. The implantable brain probe comprises electrical recording sites and optical stimulation sites along with control electronics. The optrode base is a MEMS structure fabricated using standard lithographic techniques, which includes metallisation and passivation. Micro-LEDs are bonded on to this optrode base with sub-micron accuracy using FINEPLACER ® lambda from Finetech. Compared to micro-LEDs, relatively larger CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) based control circuitry is also bonded to the optrode base using the same pick and place tool. This hybrid assembly is then hermetically sealed and encapsulated using a biocompatible material. Several such optrodes are then combined in configurations that are optimised for individual patients for long-term implantation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ponon N

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Micro Assembly Day 2016

Year of Conference: 2016

Online publication date: 10/03/2016

Acceptance date: 10/02/2016

Publisher: Finetech