Research Area

The Neural Interfaces & MicroSystems Laboratory at DGIST focuses on the development of neural interfaces, neural stimulation methodologies for therapeutic purposes against certain neurological diseases, and micro devices/systems that are to be implanted in the body for the purpose of health monitoring, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and basic research. The key engineering and technological requirements are microfabrication (MEMS) technology, device integration and packaging, and engineering of biocompatible and biosafe materials. Current research interests of our laboratory include

  • Neural microelectrodes of both surface type and penetrating type
  • Optical stimulation and implantable magnetic stimulation, in addition to traditional electrical stimulation
  • Stretchable and Wearable sensors for bio-signal detection
  • Finite element analysis of spine implants

For more information on the research topics of our lab, read the following articles.

DGIST WORLD Vol 31.pdf
공학교육의 현장 DGIST NIMS.pdf

We develop implantable magnetic and optical neural stimulation methodologies in addition to traditional electrical stimulation. Electrical stimulation has been the standard method to stimulate neural tissues but also has some disadvantages. To overcome the limitations of electrical stimulation, we explore the feasibility of implantable magnetic and optical stimulation methods in-vitro as well as in-vivo.

  1. "Planar coil-based contact-mode magnetic stimulation: synaptic responses in hippocampal slices and thermal considerations," Scientific Reports, 2018.
  2. "Computational study on the thermal effects of implantable magnetic stimulation based on planar coils," IEEE T. Biomedical Engineering, 2016.
  3. "Near Infrared Stimulation on Globus Pallidus and Subthalamus," J. Biomedical Optics, 2013.

We develop novel electrophysiological tools to detect bioelectric signals from zebrafish, including EEG, ECG and EMG signals. These zebrafish-specific techniques can be useful for mass screening of drug candidates as zebrafish is a very economical and efficient animal model. We currently monitor EEG signals from zebrafish after treatment of anti-epileptic drugs.

  1. "Zebrafish as an animal model in epilepsy studies with multichannel EEG recordings," Scientific Reports, 2017.
  2. "A 3D-Printed Sensor for Monitoring Biosignals in Small Animals," J. Healthcare Engineering, 2017.
  3. "Zebrafish Needle EMG: a New Tool for High-throughput Drug Screens," J. Neurophysiology, 2015.

We develop novel fabrication techniques to pattern thin-film metals or silver nanowires based on flexible and/or stretchable polymeric substrates. We expand the application of these fabrication techniques for developing new flexible printed circuit boards (FPCB) and wearable/patchable bio-signal monitoring sensors towards smart health-care system in future.

  1. "A batteryless, wireless strain sensor using resonant frequency modulation," Sensors, 2018.
  2. "Annealing Effects of Parylene-Caulked Polydimethylsiloxane as a Substrate of Electrodes," Sensors, 2016.
  3. "A method to pattern silver nanowires directly on wafer-scale PDMS substrate and its applications," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016.
  4. "Large-sized out-of-plane stretchable electrodes based on poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate," Applied Physics Letters, 2014.

We develop novel fabrication techniques to pattern thin-film metals or silver nanowires based on flexible and/or stretchable polymeric substrates. We develop a technique to create soft and flexible 3D structures with embedded conductive patterns in the micrometer scale. The fabricated 3D structures can be used in a wide range of biomedical applications such as neural interfaces, drug delivery systems, soft sensors and actuators, to soft robotics.

  1. "Large-sized out-of-plane stretchable electrodes based on poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate," Applied Physics Letters, 2014.
  2. "Crack-free and reliable lithographical patterning methods on PDMS substrate," J. Mircromechanics & Microengineering, 2013.

We investigate the strategies to improve the longevity and stability of polymer-based implants in physiological environments. In many cases, wireless power supply is favorable for implanted devices to eliminate the use of batteries in the body. Thus, we investigate short-range, low-power wireless powering for implantable devices. Also, we investigate the interactions between implants and the body, such as artificial discs, using finite element method.

  1. "Biomechanical effects of the geometry of ball-and-socket artificial disc on lumbar spine: A finite element study," SPINE, 2017.
  2. "Long-term characterization of neural electrodes based on parylene-caulked polydimethylsiloxane substrate," Biomedical Microdevices, 2016.
  3. "Biomechanical comparison of spinal fusion methods using interspinous process compressor and pedicle screw fixation system based on finite element method," J. Korean Neurosurgical Society, 2016.
  4. "Evaluation of Sub-micrometer Parylene C films as Passivation Layer Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy," Progress in Organic Coatings, 2014.
  5. "Comparison of planar type coils for efficient power supply to implantable devices," Biomedical Engineering Letters, 2012.
  6. "Influence of system integration and packaging on its inductive power link for a wireless neural interface device," IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Engineering, 2009.
  7. "Integrated Wireless Neural Interface Based on the Utah Electrode Array," Biomedical Microdevices, 2009.
  8. "Thermal impact of an active 3-D microelectrode array implanted in the brain," IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2007.
  9. "Switchable polymer based thin film coils as a power module for wireless neural interfaces," Sensors and Actuators A, 2007.