No, you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to find this fascinating: bio-integrated electronics is full of unimaginably weird but useful things you can do with things like, you know, live brains. It’s all about making electronic things rubbery

The talk in the video was called:

Bio-Integrated Electronics

It was given by Dr. John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on Monday, October 24, 2011

Here’s an introduction to the lecture:

Biology is curved, soft and elastic; silicon wafers are not. Semiconductor technologies that can bridge this gap in form and mechanics will create new opportunities in devices that adopt biologically inspired designs or require intimate integration with the human body.

This talk describes the development of ideas for electronics that offer the performance of state-of-the-art, wafer-based systems but with the mechanical properties of a rubber band.

We explain the underlying materials science and mechanics of these approaches, and illustrate their use in bio-integrated, ‘tissue-like’ electronics with unique capabilities for mapping cardiac electrophysiology, in both endocardial and epicardial modes, for performing electrocorticography and for skin-based physiological status monitoring.

Demonstrations in live animal models illustrate the functionality offered by these technologies, and suggest several clinically relevant applications.

Here’s an abstract from a paper co-authored by John Rogers called:

Flexible, foldable, actively multiplexed, high-density electrode array for mapping brain activity in vivo

Arrays of electrodes for recording and stimulating the brain are used throughout clinical medicine and basic neuroscience research, yet are unable to sample large areas of the brain while maintaining high spatial resolution because of the need to individually wire each passive sensor at the electrode-tissue interface.

To overcome this constraint, we developed new devices that integrate ultrathin and flexible silicon nanomembrane transistors into the electrode array, enabling new dense arrays of thousands of amplified and multiplexed sensors that are connected using fewer wires.

We used this system to record spatial properties of cat brain activity in vivo, including sleep spindles, single-trial visual evoked responses and electrographic seizures.

We found that seizures may manifest as recurrent spiral waves that propagate in the neocortex.

The developments reported here herald a new generation of diagnostic and therapeutic brain-machine interface devices.

The next video is Benjamin Janesko presenting a highly relevant talk called:

Printable Semiconducting Plastics for making flexible circuits and plastic solar panels

The talk was given at the Dallas Personal Robotics (DPRG) meeting in September 2011 at the Dallas Makerspace