Date published: 07/06/17
Introducing flexibility to my work – Dr Christopher Russell
My name is Dr Christopher Russell, and I am a postdoctoral researcher currently based in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds. I am working on a multi-disciplinary research project to design and fabricate neural electrodes to be utilised for brain-machine interfaces.
The work is undertaken in the Wolfson Nanotechnology Cleanroom, and has so far accomplished silicon based electrodes for acute neuroscience research applications. In an effort to expand the work to chronic applications, I sought a secondment to the Rogers Group at Northwestern University to gain insight into fabricating implantable technologies.
The Rogers Group have a wealth of knowledge, which includes the processes and materials required to produce both implantable microfluidic and electronic systems. Alongside this, Prof John Rogers, who leads the group, has successfully commercialised academic research into successful companies, which can provide potentially invaluable insight into research strategy.
As I have only experienced microfabrication in the cleanroom at Leeds, I am looking forward to observing their organisation and methods to see how they differ from what I see as the “norm”. I envisage myself taking my current electrode design and adapting it to suit applications both within and external to the current neuroscience application, as well as looking to explore mutually beneficial ideas.
Whether this comes in the form of combining resources at the fabrication end, or splitting the responsibilities of product development and testing, there is potential for strong collaboration between the two institutions, which would see technology going from idea to product in an efficient manner.