Engineering & Electronics Design Laboratory
Within our engineering and electronics design laboratory, our researchers develop a number of biomedical devices and implantable microelectronics in addition to robobotics, prosthetics, exoskeletons, and and new biomedical diagnostic tools and surgical robotics. These include implantable amplifiers on-board with wireless power and data capability, light-weight optogenetic stimulators for awake-behaving rodent studies, EMG-controlled robotics and exoskeletons, and smart-phone compatible diagnostic tools. The lab is equipped with an extensive array of electronics equipment for developing these devices.
Photoacoustic Microscopy Unit
SINAPSE is home to a state-of-the-art Photoacoustic & Ultrasonic Imaging System (PUIS), also known as a functional photoacoustic microscopy (fPAM) system. The system is a reliable imaging technique to probe the total hemoglobin concentration (HbT), cerebral blood volume (CBV) and hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SO2) in single cerebral blood vessels of rats. Our research fellows have developed a unique fPAM technique and have extensive experience studying the cerebral neurovascular coupling functions using the fPAM technique.
Our fully functional wet-lab is equipped with all necessary tools to undertake a number of in vitro studies, including stem cell differentiation, microfluidics, C Elegans studies, and pharmacology.
Dextroscope 3D Workstation
Within the cooperation framework between SINAPSE and the National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore (NNI), the surgical robotics lab is home now of the Dextroscope, a holographic imager for surgery planning. The Dextroscope is a commercial, integrated workstation designed to support surgical evaluation and decision making. The system can automatically coregister preoperative images of different modalities, assist with the segmentation of critical anatomic structures, and present the information-fused 3-D model on a stereographic display. It allows the operator to inspect and manipulate the virtual patient model using an ergonomic handle in one hand and a stylus-shaped instrument in the other, both of which are collocated in space with the 3-D rendering. Neurosurgery 72:A154–A164, 2013
In computational laboratory, researchers have access to high-performance workstations and software packages. Projects include developing a number of models and signal processing methods using neural data, such as brain connectivity mapping using patient-specific diffusion tensor-MRI images, real-time EEG-feature extraction for cognitive engineering, spike sorting and decoding of cortical and neural data, and modeling.
Cognitive Single-Cell Neurophysiology
Selective activation of individual neurons is a cornerstone of our modern understanding of how brain activity relates to cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, memory and decision making. However, understanding neuronal activity in the context of other brain cells (i.e. networks of neurons) is essential to achieve a deeper understanding of brain function. We record the activity of dozens of neurons simultaneously while animals perform complex behavioral tasks. The goal is to understand information processing in networks of neurons distributed in multiple brain regions.
Development of Neuroprosthesis and Brain-Machine Interface
Damage to the central or peripheral nervous system can have devastating consequences. Due to the limited capacity of neurons to regenerate, alternative solutions are required. Neurodevices that use nervous information (by measuring activity) and/or induce activations (by stimulation) have been applied to multiple conditions, such as deep brain stimulation for the treatment of epilepsy or cochlear implants for the treatment of hearing impairments. This is an area of rapid progress, and there are many more applications and new technologies in the horizon waiting to reach the clinic. In my lab we employ neurophysiological techniques to test and apply novel neurotechnologies. The goal is to develop novel treatments to aid patients with neurological disorders or lesions.
Clean Room & Microfabrication Laboratory
Under construction, to be completed within the year, is our own dedicated clean room and microfabrication laboratory. Equipment in the clean room will include fume hoods, a mask aligner, reactive-ion etching, optical microscope, step profiler and XeF2 etcher, programmable vacuum spin coater, expanded plasma cleaner, parylene deposition system, ovens, and ultrasonic cleaner.