A key endeavor in neuroscience is to understand the mechanisms of neural circuit computation, within the context of both behavior and disease. To achieve this, it is necessary to read and write neural activity across scales—from synapses, a single neuron, the local network, and across brain regions. Achieving this has been a challenge, mainly because of limitations of currently available methods. While advances in non-linear microscopy, and whole-cell electrophysiology have accentuated our knowledge of neural circuits, they remain limited in temporal and spatial resolution, and lack the scalability required to match the complexity of small neuronal circuit elements (ex: synapses, dendrites, and glia). Fortunately, CMOS technology, and novel nanostructures can be integrated to form small, scalable, and multi-functional systems. The proximity of recording, amplification, and digitization, can help a) minimize noise; b) reduce parasitics; and c) reduce power consumption. Such systems when combined with cutting-edge two-photon imaging, electrophysiology, and, genetic tools will deliver a powerful experimental toolbox to dissect neural circuit function.

Research in the area of nanoelectronics spans two main directions

A. Neuroelectronics:

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Research topics within this area include

a. Custom CMOS amplifiers for high resolution and ultra low-noise electrical and electrochemical sensing in vitro and in vivo

b. Nanowire and nanotube based neural interfaces

c. CMOS-MEMS hybrid microsystems for neuroscience

d. Custom application specific electrode arrays

e. Quantum-dot and integrated photonic technologies

B. Bioelectronic sensors

 Research topics within this area include

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a. Fundamental limits to ensemble and single molecule biosensing

b. Nanowire and nanotube based electrical transducers

c. CMOS-nanofluidic integration

d. CMOS point-of-care diagnsotic systems

e. Alternate state-variables for biosensing