Wireless photocapacitive neurostimulation – from in-vivo to in-silico

8th February 2024

Timing : 1 pm EST

Please use this zoom link for joining the webinar

For a list of all talks at the NanoBio seminar Series Spring'24, see here

Wireless and externally powered bioelectronic devices can be a tool of choice in certain applications where miniaturization would be beneficial. We have developed and extensively used organic electrolytic photocapacitors (OEPCs) for wireless optical neuromodulation. OEPCs are simple, photovoltaic-like devices, based on bilayer heterojunctions of organic semiconductor pigments, which can be built on rigid or flexible substrates, and can operate efficiently in physiological environment even without encapsulation. After first successes based on the strategy of trial and error, we have developed a comprehensive numerical model which includes both the OEPC device and a stimulation target, as well as a realistic simulation of the electrode's interfacial impedance. In this seminar, I will present our recent efforts in device fabrication and electrophysiological validation, followed by the demonstrations of our FEM models used for in-silico device optimization.

Dr. Vedran Đerek
Assistant professor
Head of the Laboratory for Photonics and Optical Spectroscopy
Research Group for Opto-Bioelectronics
Physics department
University of Zagreb Faculty of Science, Croatia

Vedran Đerek is an Assistant Professor in Physics at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Science, Zagreb, Croatia. He started his research group in 2020. During the PhD period at the University of Zagreb, he won the Austrian government grant "Ernst Mach Worldwide Scholarship" for a research stay at the University Johannes Kepler in Linz, where he worked in the group of Prof. Dr. Serdar Niyazi Sariciftci on hybrid silicon-organic heterostructures based on chemically structured silicon, and their application in solar cells and infrared light sensors. During the post-doctoral period he worked in the Laboratory for organic electronics at the Linkoping University, Sweden with prof. Eric Glowacki. where he focused on the development of bioelectronic devices for extracellular neurostimulation. At the end of 2019 he returned to Croatia, to the position of assistant professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Zagreb Faculty of Science, where he took over the Laboratory for optical atomic spectroscopy, and started a research group for opto-bioelectronics. He teaches in the field of atomic and molecular physics. His special focus is on interdisciplinary research at the border of materials physics, opto-electronics and bio-medical field, especially in the application of opto-bioelectronic devices as wireless neurostimulators for the applications in fundamental research and translational medicine. He won the Croatian state award for science for 2022. He is the vice-president of the Croatian Vacuum Society, a member of Croatian Biophysics Society, and of the Materials Research Society.