Neuroelectronic interfaces in the central, peripheral and autonomous nervous systems are the bedrock of brain-computer interface, neuromodulation and bioelectronics medicine treatments that can provide functional restoration in persons with motor and sensory dysfunction, therapies in neuronal disorders as well as symptom relief in persons with intractable neural diseases and alternatives to pharmacological treatment in widespread diseases. While many devices have been deployed in the clinical environment, there are still many engineering and neuroscientific challenges to realizing the full potential of neuroelectronic interfaces and their translation into broad clinical practice that range from stable, life-long recording electrode interfaces to deciphering the neural code and achieving closed-loop neuromodulation on a patient- and circadian-specific scales.
The 2020 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Neuroelectronic Interfaces is focused on catalyzing innovation at the confluence of multiple disciplines for engineering and utilizing next generation of interfaces. In ecology, "edge effects" are defined as the unexpected and divergent innovations that occur at the physical boundary of multiple ecosystems. The neuroelectronic interface field has long benefited from the edge effect at the boundaries of neuroscience, electrical engineering, material science, and neurosurgery. To bring brain-machine interface and neuromodulation technologies to the clinic, there was widespread collaboration and interdisciplinary training between these experts. The next generation of neuroelectronic interfaces will require yet a larger effort in bridging disparate scientific and engineering fields. Therefore, this GRC on Neuroelectronic Interfaces will bring together basic materials research armed with emerging fundamental neurosciences knowledge, and a multi-disciplinary team of leading experts in cellular neuroscience, brain pathology, neuro-technology and materials science as well as experts from different medical disciplines (for example neurosurgery, hand surgery, internal medicine, orthopedics) in order to discuss emerging strategies for engineering chronically useful and reliable neural interfaces as well as uncover new applications for existing technologies on the frontiers of scientific discovery and strategic pathways for translational research into clinical applications.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by July 1, 2019. Please check back for updates.
- Sensory Neuronal Feedback
- Stimulation of the Spinal Cord
- Robustness of Neural Implants in Translational Research
- New Technologies Contributing to Neural Implants
- Beyond Scarring: Importance of Glia and BBB as Modulators of Neurons
- Structural Biocompatibility as Key Engineering Design Features
- Promises and Challenges of Carbon as Electrode Material for Sensing and Stimulation
- Signal Processing to Decipher Neural Information
- Keynote Session: Ways to Understand the Brain