The nervous system is a soft and dynamic system. In contrast, current neural interfaces often are rigid and static, and offer a unique shape and “one-size fits all” definition. The introduction of microfabrication together with the concept of mechanical “invisibility” are transforming the approaches used to design and manufacture neural interfaces. In this talk, I will review how we engineer the next generation of soft, implantable neural interfaces using thin films, microfabrication and programmed elasticity. I will illustrate these concepts with designs from the lab and in context of neuroprosthetic medicine.
Stéphanie P. Lacour holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology at the School of Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. She is a Professor in Microengineering and Bioengineering. She is a co-founding member and current director of EPFL Center for Neuroprosthetics, located at EPFL satellite – Campus Biotech in Geneva. She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from INSA de Lyon, France, and completed postdoctoral research at Princeton University (USA) and the University of Cambridge (UK). She joined EPFL in 2011.