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Guosong Hong

October 19, 2018 - 3:00pm
McCullough 115

Bridging Materials with the Mind: Novel Optical and Electronic Tools for Brain Research

Guosong Hong

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University


The dichotomy between the materials world and the mental world has driven the curiosity of scientists to explore the wonders of the brain, as well as motivated the continued technological innovations based on materials science advances to understand the brain. A major challenge in understanding the brain is the spatiotemporal dilemma of neuroengineering: many important brain functions and cognitive processes occur in multiple regions and depths of the whole brain over months and years, but involve cellular electrophysiological changes that have to be quantified on the millisecond and micrometer scales of individual neurons. In this seminar, I will present two strategies to address this major challenge in neuroengineering: a new fluorescence-based in-vivo deep-brain imaging technique in the previously unexplored second near-infrared window (NIR-II window, 1,000-1,700 nm), and a new form of nanoelectronics that resembles the neural tissue and can be delivered in the brain by syringe injection like pharmaceuticals. Using bandgap-engineered nanomaterials and molecules, in-vivo NIR-II imaging allows visualization of sub-10 μm cerebral vessels in the mouse brain through intact scalp and skull and quantification of fast cerebral hemodynamics for stroke detection. Using tissue-like mesh electronics, stable long-term in-vivo brain and retina mapping at the single-neuron level has been achieved by blurring the distinction between biological and electronic systems. Both efforts have laid the foundation of ongoing research in our lab at the interface of materials science and brain science.


Dr. Guosong Hong obtained his B.S. in chemistry from Peking University in 2008. He then carried out graduate studies with Prof. Hongjie Dai at Stanford University, where his research focused on the development of in-vivo second near-infrared (NIR-II) fluorescence imaging with deep-brain penetration. Upon receiving his Ph.D. in chemistry in 2014, Dr. Hong began postdoctoral studies with Prof. Charles M. Lieber at Harvard University, where he worked on the development and application of syringe-injectable mesh electronics for stable long-term in-vivo electrophysiology at single-neuron level in rodent and primate brain and retina. Dr. Hong joined the faculty of Stanford Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Wu-Tsai Neurosciences Institute in September 2018. Dr. Hong has received recognitions such as the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, William S. Johnson Graduate Fellowship, Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Award, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Honorable Mention Award for Young Chemists and the American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship. He is currently supported by the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).

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