Stefano Vassanelli's 'NeuroChip' Lab

Our main interest is to investigate fundamental coding principles of sensory information by mammalian neural circuits. To this aim, the NeuroChip Lab is engaged in the development of novel bioelectronic interfaces and neuronal probes for large-scale and high-resolution two-way recording and stimulation of neural networks.

Electrolyte-oxide-semiconductor (EOS) transistors and capacitors are integrated into large and high-density multi-electrode arrays and used to measure and evoke extracellular potentials for electrical interfacing with neural networks in vitro and in vivo. The approach is applied to investigate processing by networks of rat hippocampal and cortical neurons in culture, and within the whisker somatosensory system in the rodent.

Recently, we have started working on the creation of neural biohybrids: hybrid neural circuits formed by living neurons and microelectronic counterparts emulating neuronal processing functions.

The lab's activity includes neural networks modeling by parallel computing and development of large scale signal processing software tools.

Besides addressing the issue of information coding by biological networks, our research will serve as a platform for development of advanced neuroprosthetic implants for the therapy of neurological disorders such as Parkinson or epilepsy by means of brain microstimulation.