Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

High-Precision Electronic Medicine: Localization, Stimulation, and Beyond

Manuel Monge
B205 Engineering Quadrangle
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 4:30pm

Over the past decades, remarkable advances toward miniaturized biomedical devices have been made and have enabled the development of new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. For instance, smart pills are being used to image the gastrointestinal tract, distributed sensors are being developed to map the function of the brain, and neural prostheses are being designed to help the visual, hearing, and motor impaired. However, most of today’s implantable devices present critical limitations regarding size, power consumption, and functionality. Furthermore, several medical conditions could be dramatically improved if even smaller bioelectronic devices were to exist.
In this talk, I will provide an overview of implantable medical devices and present our efforts for engineering microscale devices to enable high-precision electronic medicine. In the first part of the talk, I will describe a novel approach for locating microscale devices inside the body using concepts from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We have demonstrated a new microchip that mimics the behavior of nuclear spins and can be located in space by the application of magnetic field gradients. Using this technique, we can locate a device smaller than 1 mm3 with sub-millimeter resolution in vivo. Such miniature devices could reach currently inaccessible locations inside the body with high precision to perform diagnosis and treatment of localized disease. In the second part, I will focus on neural stimulation techniques for retinal prostheses, which are devices aiming to restore vision in patients suffering from advanced stages of retinal degeneration (e.g., retinitis pigmentosa). I will present a fully intraocular epiretinal implant that reduces area and power consumption, and increases the functionality and resolution of traditional implementations. Finally, I will discuss some exciting research directions and potential applications of the developed techniques.
Manuel Monge received the BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in 2008 with honors, and the MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2010 and 2017, respectively. His research interests focus on the miniaturization of medical electronics by combining and integrating physical and biological principles into the design of microscale integrated circuits. He is currently working at Neuralink Corp., developing ultra-high-bandwidth brain-machine interfaces.
He is the recipient of the 2017 Charles Wilts Prize from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Caltech for outstanding independent research in electrical engineering leading to a PhD, and the 2017 Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Biotechnology from the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech for the best thesis in the field of biotechnology. He was also the co-recipient of the 2015 IEEE CICC Best Student Paper Award, 2nd Place, and the recipient of the Caltech Rosen Scholarship in 2014.