Principles of Neuroengineering

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MIT Course Numbers: MAS.881 ~ 9.422 ~ 20.452
Instructor: E.S. Boyden
Units: H-level ~ 3-0-9 Units
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30AM-12PM
Place: Tuesdays, E14-493; Thursdays, E14-525


Covers principles underlying current and future technologies for brain analysis and engineering, for neurology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. Focuses on using biophysical, biochemical, and anatomical models to understand technology design constraints governing ability to observe and alter brain function. Topics include functional magnetic resonance imaging, electromagnetic recording/stimulation, neuropharmacology, optical cellular imaging, and gene/stem-cell therapy. Design projects by student teams. Limited to 28.


Part I. The Primitives for Engineering the Brain

Thurs 9/9, Overview. Introductions.
Tues 9/14, Circuit elements of the nervous system. Neurons, glia, blood vessels. Channels, receptors, DNA, RNA.
Thurs 9/16, Macroscopic circuits, brain region connectivity and architecture, circuit dynamics.
Tues 9/21, Microscopic circuits, cell type connectivity, disease, gliocircuits.
Thurs 9/23, Paper discussions - Circuit elements of the nervous system.

Part II. Technologies for Readout

Thurs 9/30, Noninvasve macrocircuit readout. fMRI, photoacoustic readout, MEG, EEG.
Tues 10/5, Microcircuit readout. Electrodes, optical imaging, two-photon microscopy.
Thurs 10/7, Paper discussions - Macrocircuit and microcircuit readout.
Tues 10/12, Midterm presentations.

Part III. Technologies for Stimulation and Control

Tues 10/26, Microcircuit stimulation. DBS, infrared optical stimulation, optical sensitizers such as channelrhodopsin-2/halorhodopsin.
Thurs 10/28, Macrocircuit stimulation. TMS, tDCS, ultrasound.
Tues 11/2, Paper discussions - Microcircuit and macrocircuit stimulation.
Thurs 11/4, Gene therapy, stem cells, proteins and biologics.
Thurs 11/18, Pharmacology, chemicals, nanoparticles.
Tues 11/23, Principles of neuroengineering: synthetic neurobiology to understand and engineer the brain.
Tues 11/30, Paper discussions - Gene therapy, stem cells, and pharmacology.

Part IV. Final Presentations

Thurs 12/2, first set of teams.
Tues 12/7, last set of teams.