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Flexible Microelectrode Arrays for Monitoring Brain Activity
Posted by Las Positas College On September 11, 2018

Flexible Microelectrode Arrays for Monitoring Brain Activity

9th Annual LLNL/LPC Science and Engineering Seminar Series

Theory to Practice: How Science is Done

Flexible Microelectrode Arrays for Monitoring Brain Activity

Anna Marie Belle, PhD, Research Engineer
Allison Yorita, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher

Center for Micro and Nano Technology and Bioengineering Center Materials Engineering Division, LLNL

Thursday, October 4, 2018
6:00-7:15 pm
Building 2400, Room 2420

How does one "listen in" as brain cells communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals?  Come find out at the kick-off seminar for 2018-2019!

In this first seminar, we will hear about how principles of biology, chemistry, physics, physiology, and engineering come together to design microstructures small enough to fit safely in the brain and smart enough to probe the mysteries of how brain cells talk to each other.  Dr. Anna Marie Belle, Research Engineer, Dr. Allison Yorita, Postdoctoral Researcher, and their team at LLNL will discuss how microelectrode arrays are used to capture information from brain cell communication.   They will also describe how these microelectrode arrays are fabricated and being developed for medical applications.  Dr. Belle’s PhD is in Analytical Chemistry and Dr. Yorita’s PhD is in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. For more information see abstract below.


The human brain is composed of billions of cells that communicate with chemical and electrical signals.  LLNL microelectrodes can interface directly with the brain to allow us to monitor and manipulate the dynamics of these brain signals.  LLNL microelectrodes are flexible and microfabricated in dense arrays that allow them to collect large amounts of information over long periods of time in the body.  We will go over how these arrays are microfabricated and their diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Dr. Anna Belle is a researcher and principal investigator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory affiliated with the lab’s Center for Bioengineering and Center for Micro- and Nanotechnologies.  Her work focuses on developing biosensor arrays for research into neurological diseases and disorders.  She received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has established the facility for in vivo testing of neurological biosensors at Livermore and is a member of the Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience.

Dr. Allison Yorita is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Bioengineering and Center for Micro- and Nanotechnologies at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she worked on microfabricated devices to detect neurotransmitters and nucleic acids. Her research at LLNL focuses on microfabrication of neural devices, as well as studying and characterizing chemical sensing capabilities on flexible polymer probes.​