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Stanford device brings silicon computing power to brain research and prosthetics

Abdulmalik Obaid and Nick Melosh stand in front of a whiteboard, holding a small object with tweezers
Image credit: Andrew Brodhead
Mar 20 2020
Fellow, Research, Stanford, Students

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new device for connecting the brain directly to silicon-based technologies. While brain-machine interface devices already exist – and are used for prosthetics, disease treatment and brain research – this latest device can record more data while being less intrusive than existing options.

“Nobody has taken these 2D silicon electronics and matched them to the three-dimensional architecture of the brain before,” said Abdulmalik Obaid, a graduate student in materials science and engineering at Stanford. “We had to throw out what we already know about conventional chip fabrication and design new processes to bring silicon electronics into the third dimension. And we had to do it in a way that could scale up easily.”

Paper co-lead author Abdulmalik Obaid is a 2018 Bio-X Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow. Additional co-author Nora Brackbill is a 2015-16 DIF funding recipient and a 2013 EDGE-STEM Fellow.