George Malliaras plenary: Interfacing with the Brain using Organic Electronics
Implantable electrodes are being used for diagnostic purposes, for brain-machine interfaces, and for delivering electrical stimulation to alleviate the symptoms of diseases such as Parkinson's. The field of organic electronics made available devices with a unique combination of properties, including mixed ionic/electronic conduction, mechanical flexibility, enhanced biocompatibility, and capability for drug delivery.
In this plenary session, George Malliaras of Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne (France), gives a glimpse into future directions of research and diagnosis of brain function through his group's work with organic electrodes. The work aims to improve the methodology used to monitor and record epileptic episodes.
Conventional methods rely on traditional metal electrodes which suffer from sensitivity to noise. The organic electrodes developed by Malliaras are based on organic electrochemical transistors (OECT), with conductance proportional to the volume of the transistor, not the area. Additionally the OECT electrode probes demonstrate higher transconductance, meaning that higher currents are generated in the OECT whenever an action potential is detected, allowing for a higher signal-to-noise ratio.
George Malliaras is the Head of the Department of Bioelectronics of the Ecole des Mines de St. Etienne. He received his PhD from the University of Groningen (Netherlands), did a postdoc at IBM Research, was a faculty member in Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University, and served as the Lester B. Knight Director of the Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility.