Principles of Neuroengineering

[Class Content]   [Fall 2017]  [Fall 2015]  [Fall 2014]  [Fall 2012]  [Fall 2011]  [Fall 2010]  [Fall 2009]  [Fall 2008]  [Fall 2007]  

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


Covers how to innovate technologies for brain analysis and engineering, for accelerating the basic understanding of the brain, and leading to new therapeutic insight and inventions. Focuses on using physical, chemical and biological principles to understand technology design criteria governing ability to observe and alter brain structure and function. Topics include optogenetics, noninvasive brain imaging and stimulation, nanotechnologies, stem cells and tissue engineering, and advanced molecular and structural imaging technologies. Design projects by students. Limited to 28.


Part I. Neuroscience from an engineering perspective: the building blocks of the brain, and their principles of operation.

Th 9/5, Overview. Introductions.
Tu 9/17, Circuit elements of the nervous system. Neurons, glia, blood vessels. Channels, receptors, DNA, RNA. Modalities of signaling, ionic, gap junctional, ephaptic, synaptic/chemical, second messenger, diffusible, gaseous. Analog electrical signaling.
Tu 9/24, Macroscopic circuits. Brain region connectivity and architecture, circuit dynamics, emergent properties of brain dynamics. How these past conclusions were influenced by past technologies, and what is unknown or uncertain.
Th 9/26, Microscopic circuits, cell type-specific connectivity, connectomics, kinds of connections, gliocircuits. How these past conclusions were influenced by past technologies, and what is unknown or uncertain.
Tu 10/1, Paper discussions: circuit elements and signaling modalities of the nervous system.

Part II. Technologies for measurement: molecular, anatomical, and dynamical observation and readout.

Th 10/3, Macrocircuit readout. PET, photoacoustic, MEG, EEG, fMRI, infrared imaging, x-rays, physical principles of noninvasive brain interfacing.
Tu 10/8, Microcircuit readout. Electrodes, nanoprobes, nanoparticles, optical imaging and optical microscopy, endoscopy, multiphoton microscopy, light scattering, bioluminscence, electron microscopy.
Th 10/17, Midterm presentations.
Tu 10/29, Paper discussions - measurement.

Part III. Technologies for controlling and constructing: molecular, anatomical, and dynamical control and building.

Th 10/31, Macrocircuit control. Magnetic, electrical, ultrasonic, chemical, pharmacological/pharmacogenetic, thermal.
Th 11/7, Microcircuit control. DBS, infrared optical stimulation, optogenetics, nanoparticle-mediated control, uncaging, signaling control.
Th 11/21, Circuit assembly. Development, 3-D brain building, tissue engineering, stem cells, gene therapy and viral/trangenic technologies, extracellular matrix.

Part IV. Principles of neurotechnology design.

Tu 11/26, Building blocks of future tools. Barcoding, quantum-measurement nanoparticles, DNA origami, robotics, nanorobots, automation of neuroscience, splicing, mechanosensation, immune cells, prions, newborn neurons, post-transcriptional/translational modification.
Tu 12/3, Principles of designing future tools. Top-down vs. bottom-up design approaches, architecting tools, omnidisciplinary collaboration principles, tools for science vs. tools for the clinic, business models of teaching and dissemination, democratization vs. observatories, "conservation laws", "blind spots" in technology development.

Part V. Final Presentations.

Th 12/5, final presentations.