Dr Vincent Daria
Group Leader (Neurophotonics Group)
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

Title: Understanding brain circuits using nanotechnology and photonic tools

Abstract: In this talk, I will outline the use of patterned light and nanostructured devices to understand how neurons function and form circuits. To analyse the function of single neurons, we use light not only to visualize these neurons but also to stimulate and record neuronal activity.  We produce light patterns using a programmable hologram, which projects multiple foci from a single laser. Each focus can be used as a light probe to stimulate and/or record neuronal activity.  To analyse the development of multiple neurons  forming circuits, we artificially grow cortical neurons on nanowire scaffolds. From a fundamental perspective, we aim to investigate the structural significance of nanoscale topographies for guiding neurite outgrowth and analyze its function using light. To achieve this, we use electron microscopy to monitor neuronal growth and optically record the network activity using a calcium indicator. We show that isotropic arrangements of indium phosphide nanowires guide neurite growth and aid in forming circuits with neighboring neurons. Multiple neurons with neurites guided by the topography of the nanowire scaffolds exhibit synchronized calcium activity, implying intercellular communications via synaptic connections. Light in combination with nanostructured devices could provide new insights on the function of individual neurons as well as formation of neuronal circuits in the brain. 

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2016