Multifunctional polymer-based fibers for the recording and modulation of neural circuits
Marc-Joseph Antonini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Electrical, optical and chemical approaches have been used to manipulate and record neuronal activity in vivo. However, the integration of multiple modalities into a single biocompatible neural probe remains a challenge in the field of neural engineering. Here, we utilize a thermal drawing process to fabricate a multifunctional fiber featuring a microfluidic channel for drug and virus delivery, a tungsten microelectrode for electrophysiological recording and an optical waveguide. By leveraging recent advances in the development of photoswitchable drugs, we can modulate the activity of virally transfected neurons with increased spatial and temporal precision . Combining these technologies into a single device enables one-step chemogenetic experiments in vivo, and simultaneous manipulation and electrophysiological monitoring of the mesolimbic reward system in freely moving mice.


Marc-Joseph (MJ) is a Ph.D Candidate in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics at the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Program. After completing his undergraduate and graduate studies in mechanical and industrial engineering at Arts & Métiers ParisTech, he then pursued a M.Sc in biomedical engineering at the Imperial College London before learning about neurosciences the Graybiel Lab at MIT while studying neuronal dysfunction in a new animal model of Huntington’s Disease. He is currently completing his Ph.D research in the Bioelectronics group at MIT, where he is working on the development of polymer fibers for bidirectional multimodal interrogation of neural circuits.