social linkedin box blue 32
social facebook box blue 32
social twitter box blue 32
social facebook box blue 32

iit-rbcs-logo-v3

Home RBCS ■ Brain Machine Interface

Brain Machine Interface Lab

The goal of this laboratory is to identify research paths that can effectively lead to the development of artificial systems that, under cerebral control, are capable of a bidirectional interaction with the external world.

The main effort is devoted to the study of chronically implantable Brain Machine Communication devices in humans. In particular the main focus of this long term goal is to implement bidirectional and “ad-hoc” interfaces that can be adapted to the residual functional abilities and to the morphology of individual patients and that can support bidirectional flow of information between the nervous system and the artificial device

Research topics:

Development of a bidirectional Brain Machine Interface Intracortical Micro Stimulation as artificial sensory channel Microelectronics for signal conditioning and processing of bidirectional brain signals
alt We are developing a novel bidirectional neural interface emulating the functionalities of the spinal cord alt Study the possibility of using ICMS as feedback signal in a closed loop Brain Machine Interface. alt Design of low-power, low noise integrated electronic front-ends for brain machine interfaces
Study of bio-compatibility of intracortical devices
alt Bio-inspired hybrid electrodes coated with autologous living cells coupled with a uniform autologous hydrogel layer

EXTERNAL PROJECTS:

SI-CODE
Towards new Brain-Machine Interfaces: State-dependent information coding

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:


  • Mussa Ivaldi F. A., Alford S. T., Chiappalone M., Fadiga L., Karniel A., Kositsky M., Maggiolini E., Panzeri S., Sanguineti V., Semprini M. and Vato A. (2010)
    New perspectives on the dialogue between brains and machines
    Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 4, (no. 1), pp. 44-52
  • Bonfanti A., Zambra G., Baranauskas G., Angotzi G. N., Maggiolini E., Semprini M., Vato A., Fadiga L., Spinelli A. S. and Lacaita A. L. (2011)
    A wireless microsystem with digital data compression for neural spike recording
    Microelectronic Engineering, vol. 88, (no. 8), pp. 1672-1675, 0167-9317
  • *Vato A., *Semprini M., *Maggiolini E., *Szymanski F. D., *Fadiga L., *Panzeri S. and Mussa Ivaldi F. A. (2012)
    Shaping the Dynamics of a Bidirectional Neural Interface
    PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 8, (no. 7), pp. e1002578
alt Development of a bidirectional Brain Machine Interface
People involved:

Fabio Boi, Marianna Semprini, Alessandro Vato, Luciano Fadiga, Stefano Panzeri, F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi

The main idea of a Brain Machine Interface system consists in extracting neural signals directly from the brain and use them to control external devices. In the framework of building neural prostheses this technique could be useful to better understand how the brain processes the sensory information coming from the environment and uses it to build motor commands. To reach this result a crucial point is to develop a BMI real-time system to create a bidirectional communication channel with the nervous system.

In our lab we are implementing in-vivo techniques using multielectrode microwires arrays chronically implanted in the cortex of awake rodents. These techniques permit to record the neural activity from the cortex while the animal is behaving and simultaneously to deliver Intracortical Micro Stimulation (ICMS) patterns providing an artificial input in a closed-loop system.

In this research topics we are developing a novel bidirectional neural interface emulating the functionalities of the spinal cord. In vertebrates the spinal cord mediates the communications between brain and limb mechanics, combines brain instructions with sensory information and organizes coordinated patterns of muscle forces driving the limbs along dynamically stable trajectories. We embedded a portion of the central nervous system within a closed-loop system controlling the movements of a point mass, whose behavior emerges from the combined dynamical properties of its neural and artificial components. Our system included (a) a motor interface decoding signals from a motor cortical area, and (b) a sensory interface encoding the state of the external object into electrical stimuli to a somatosensory area. The interactions between brain activities and the state of the external object generated a family of trajectories converging upon a selected equilibrium point from arbitrary starting locations. The obtained results open new perspectives within the possibility of closing the sensory-motor loop to restore a connection with the world for people with severe paralysis.

Development of a bidirectional Brain Machine Interface

Semprini M., Maggiolini E., Panzeri S., Mussa Ivaldi F. A., Fadiga L. and Vato A. (2010)
A Parametric Study of Information Transfer between Stimulating and Recording Electrodes in a Closed Loop Brain Machine Interface
Research in Encoding And Decoding of Neural Ensembles, Santorini, Greece, June 17-20, 2010

Szymanski F. D., Semprini M., Mussa Ivaldi F. A., Fadiga L., Panzeri S. and Vato A. (2011)
Dynamic Brain Machine Interface: A Novel Paradigm for Bidirectional Interaction between Brains and Dynamical Systems
33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC '11), Boston, Massachusetts USA, 30.08.2011-03.09.2011

Semprini M., Szymanski F. D., Maggiolini E., Mussa Ivaldi F. A., Fadiga L., Panzeri S. and Vato A. (2010)
A study of how to optimally transfer information between stimulating and recording electrodes in a closed loop brain machine interface
2010 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego California, USA, November 13-17, 2010

Vato A., Semprini M., Maggiolini E., Fadiga L., Panzeri S. and Mussa Ivaldi F. A. (2010)
Dynamic shaping: A new paradigm for bidirectional brain-machine interfaces
2010 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego California, USA, November 13-17, 2010

*Semprini M., *Szymanski F. D., Grussu F., Mussa Ivaldi F. A., *Panzeri S. and *Vato A. (2012)
Algorithms for shaping the dynamics of a bidirectional neural interface
22nd Annual Conference of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement, Venice,Italy

*Vato A., *Szymanski F. D., *Semprini M., Mussa Ivaldi F. A. and *Panzeri S. (2012)
A bi-directional BMI algorithm with artificial sensory information
AREADNE 2012 Research in Encoding And Decoding of Neural Ensembles

Mussa Ivaldi F. A., Alford S. T., Chiappalone M., Fadiga L., Karniel A., Kositsky M., Maggiolini E., Panzeri S., Sanguineti V., Semprini M. and Vato A. (2010)
New perspectives on the dialogue between brains and machines
Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 4, (no. 1), pp. 44-52

*Vato A., *Semprini M., *Maggiolini E., *Szymanski F. D., *Fadiga L., *Panzeri S. and Mussa Ivaldi F. A. (2012)
Shaping the Dynamics of a Bidirectional Neural Interface
PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 8, (no. 7), pp. e1002578

top
alt Intracortical Micro Stimulation as artificial sensory channel
People involved:

Fabio Boi, Marianna Semprini, Alessandro Vato, Mathew Diamond, Valter Tucci

This research theme has been explored by designing two experiments both involving behaving rats with a microwires array chronically implanted in the barrel cortex. In the first experiment we took inspiration from a well-known behavioral paradigm called "gap crossing" and we trained the rats in a dark room to jump between two platforms after inferring the distance of the second platform by information collected by the whiskers. The goal is to provide the same distance-information by using the intracortical microstimulation of the barrel cortex and substituting the natural sensation with an artificial one.

In the second experiment we explored the effects of multimodal stimulations to be used as artificial feedback for a bidirectional BMI system on rats. We focused on the sensory perception investigating which are the best modalities to translate an artificial feedback in a coherent and representative stimulus able to encode information collected form the environment. We developed a novel behavioral paradigm in which behaving rats chronically implanted with an array of microelectrodes are subjected to different multimodal stimulations (audio and intracortical electrical micro-stimulation). Rats are trained to recognize between high-frequency and low-frequency stimulations, using both audio signals and ICMS patterns, by pressing a different lever inside a behavioral box. We used this experimental paradigm to explore which modality is predominant in the case of incongruent stimulation (i.e. hi-freq. audio simultaneous with low-freq. intracortical electrical stimulation) and which is the role of the intracortical microstimulation in the learning process of this multimodal decision making experiment.

Intracortical Micro Stimulation as artificial sensory channel

*Semprini M., Bennicelli L. and *Vato A. (2012)
A parametric study of intracortical microstimulation in behaving rats for the development of artificial sensory channels
34th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineeing in Medicine & Biology Society EMBC'12, San Diego

Semprini M., Maggiolini E., Bennicelli L. and Vato A. (2009)
A parametric study of intracortical microstimulation of the somatosensory cortex in behaving rodents
Annual meeting of Society for Neuroscience 2009, Chicago, November 14-21, 2009

top
alt Microelectronics for signal conditioning and processing of bidirectional brain signals
People involved:

Giannicola Angotzi, Emma Maggiolini, Marianna Semprini, Alessandro Vato, Andrea Bonfanti, Guido Zambra, Gytis Baranauskas, Alessandro Spinelli, A. L. Lacaita, Luciano Fadiga

In an effort to create fully implantable neural recording/stimulating devices, scientists of this lab are interested in combining multi-electrode arrays with integrated complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) electronics. The miniaturization of these systems presents significant circuit design challenges. Neurons communicate with each other by means of small amplitude voltages pulses (typically between 10 and 500 µV), known as spikes, which must be amplified before they can be processed further. Since multi-electrode chronic recording systems must be entirely implanted within the skull, incorporating a large number of neural signal amplifiers (one for each electrode), ultra-low noise and ultra-low power design techniques are needed to get clean neural signal recordings as well as to prevent damages of the surrounding tissue which might be caused by excessive heating.

Although a number of studies evidenced that information is mainly carried out by spikes, it is important to facilitate neuroscience research by recording and transmitting these signals with the largest as possible resolution, without any on-chip processing. As a result, multichannel neural recording systems potentially produce an extremely high data rate that must be continuously transmitted. Such approach, although useful for neuroscience research, is not feasible for chronic implantable large multi-electrode systems because of its extremely high power consumption; hence, some form of on-chip processing as well as data compression are subject of study, in order to provide the same amount of information while saving power consumption.

Some Application-Specific-Integration-Circuits (ASICs) are being designed within this lab, in order to be used in the development of brain-machine-interfaces. A first prototype, comprising 8 low-power and low-noise neural signal amplifiers was designed in collaboration with the "Politecnico di Milano" and successfully tested in-vivo with rats. Two distinct solutions comprising respectively 16 and 64 channels, with on-chip A to D conversion and spike detection have been successfully tested. Wireless communication solutions, as well as stimulation circuits to provide sensory feedbacks are currently subject of study.

Microelectronics for signal conditioning and processing of bidirectional brain signals

Baranauskas G., Bonfanti A., Zambra G., Angotzi G. N., Maggiolini E., Semprini M., Vato A. and Spinelli A. S. (2009)
The design of high quality compact integrated multichannel systems for multi unit recording from small laboratory animals
Annual meeting of Society for Neuroscience 2009, Chicago, November 14-21, 2009

Bonfanti A., Zambra G., Borghi T., Spinelli A. S., Angotzi G. N., Baranauskas G., Maggiolini E., Semprini M., Vato A., Oliynyk A., Torazza D., Budai R., Skrap M., Tomasino B. and Fadiga L. (2009)
A compact 8-channel system for multi-unit recordings with an autoclavable headstage developed for human brain tumor boundary det
Annual meeting of Society for Neuroscience 2009, Chicago, November 14-21, 2009

Bonfanti A., Ceravolo M., Zambra G., Gusmeroli R., Spinelli A. S., Lacaita A. L., Angotzi G. N., Baranauskas G. and Fadiga L. (2010)
A Multi-Channel Low-Power System-on-Chip for Single-Unit Recording and Narrowband Wireless Transmission of Neural Signal
Conference Proceedings - IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 1555-60

Bonfanti A., Zambra G., Baranauskas G., Angotzi G. N., Maggiolini E., Semprini M., Vato A., Fadiga L., Spinelli A. S. and Lacaita A. L. (2010)
A Wireless Microsystem With Digital Data Compression For Neural Spike Recording
36th International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering (MNE2010), Genoa, Italy

Bonfanti A., Zambra G., Baranauskas G., Angotzi G. N., Maggiolini E., Semprini M., Vato A., Fadiga L., Spinelli A. S. and Lacaita A. L. (2011)
A wireless microsystem with digital data compression for neural spike recording
Microelectronic Engineering, vol. 88, (no. 8), pp. 1672-1675, 0167-9317

Patent application: Gian Nicola Angotzi, Luciano Fadiga, Giulio Sandini
Dispositivo di rilevazione intracorticale e relativo metodo di controllo
filed at Camera di Commercio Industria, Artigianato e Agricoltura di Torino; file number TO2011A000516, June 2011

Patent application: Gian Nicola Angotzi, Luciano Fadiga, Giulio Sandini
Intra-Cortical Detection Device and Control Method Thereof
ref. PCT/IB2012/052948, June 2012

top
alt Study of bio-compatibility of intracortical devices
People involved:

Sara De Faveri, Emma Maggiolini, Fabio Benfenati, Luciano Fadiga

Patients with neurological disorders could have benefits from clinical applications that imply the use of chronic implants to allow electrical stimulation and recording from the central nervous system1,2,3. To be functional and safe for patients, the implant should keep a stable electronic neural interface enabling recording and/or activation of neurons and should not lead to the deterioration of both the electrode surface and the surrounding tissue.

Our main goal was to obtain microelectrodes that mimic the host tissue to reduce the immune rejection to the foreign body. The immune rejection itself causes the formation of scar tissue around the probe4 pushing away neurons from the tip and causing an increase of the electrode-electrolyte impedance over time. All these events reduce the long-term performance of the electrodes, making useless to apply this type of technology on human subjects. We aimed at creating bio-inspired hybrid electrodes coated with autologous living cells coupled with a uniform autologous hydrogel layer. This coating will reduce the difference between the hard mechanical properties of the electrode and the soft brain tissue, and will increase the lifetime of the device thanks to the use of patients' derived materials.

Study of bio-compatibility of intracortical devices A: Fibrin coating does not alter the electrochemical properties of the device
B: Fibrin coating allows intracortical recording (light blue trace)
C: Neurons survive and reproduce over fibrin
D: Fibrin coating reduce the tissue reaction against the implant over time
  • 1,3- Implant coated with fibrin. 2,4- Control implant (without fibrin). 1,2-Reactive astrocytes are labeled in green, fibrin is labeled in red and all nuclei are labeled in blu

*De Faveri S., *Maggiolini E., *Fadiga L. and *Benfenati F. (2012)
Biocompatibility Of Intracortical Microelectrodes: How Can We Improve It?
6th European Summer School of Neuroengineering “Massimo Grattarola”, Genova, Italy, June 11-15, 16-21 June 2012

top

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015 10:51

INFORMATION NOTICE ON COOKIES

IIT's website uses the following types of cookies: browsing/session, analytics, functional and third party cookies. Users can choose whether or not to accept the use of cookies and access the website.
By clicking on further information, the full information notice on the types of cookies used will be displayed and you will be able to choose whether or not to accept cookies whilst browsing on the website.

Try our new site and tell us what you think
Take me there