Organizing Human Astrocytic Networks on Chip

Thursday, August 16, 2018 -
10:00am to 11:00am
The Zweifach Library - PFBH 489
Charles Unsworth

Associate Professor
Director of Neural Engineering
Department of Engineering Science

The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Organizing Human Astrocytic Networks on Chip


In this talk, I will discuss how my group are developing a silicon chip technology that will allow us to build highly accurate large scale grid networks of human neural cells on chip which are electrically addressable at the single cell level. We achieve this aim by innovatively combining our recent breakthroughs in cell patterning, electrode design with laser cell steering and laser ablative microsurgery to produce precisely defined circuits on chip. I will highlight this with some of our recent work on producing organized human astrocytic networks. We hope that this will provide an enabling platform technology for scientists to accurately map how the electrical signals of cells propagate from the single cell level through to large network scales, providing high degrees of control and repeatability over randomly cultured networks.


Associate Professor Charles Unsworth is Director of the Neural Engineering Group, which he established in 2002. His group specialises in Neural Chip in vitro models, Advanced Nonlinear Signal & Image Processing and Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Engineering Science, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. He holds a BSc Hons in Mathematical Physics from the University of Liverpool, an MSc in Astronomical Technology from Edinburgh University’s Royal Observatory, and a PhD in Millimeter-Wave Physics at the University of St Andrews. He was a Higher Scientific Officer of the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (DERA) at the Ministry of Defence, UK, in the area of radar hardware. He completed a 3 year Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Radar Signal Processing and a 2 year Postdoctoral Mobility Fellow at Edinburgh University collaborating with the Royal Hospital of Sick Children, Edinburgh in Biomedical Signal Processing. He joined the Department of Engineering Science in 2002.