Opto-electronic materials for neural tissue engineering

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The CBE Research Fellowship Showcase is a series of seminars showcasing the work of our staff awarded prestigious research fellowships.

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In this webinar, Vini will present two examples from her research where she has utilised optoelectronic materials to stimulate the activity and engineer the growth of neuronal circuits. The first part will detail designing artificial photoreceptors for stimulating blind retinas. This work has implications in the development of all-organic bionic vision devices. The second part will present research on designing nanoscale scaffolds for neurite guidance. This work provides insights into biophysical mechanisms involved in the development of neuronal networks. The results from these cross-disciplinary studies have ultimate applications in the development of novel neuroprosthetic interfaces and strategies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

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Dr. Vini Gautam is an ARC DECRA and Westpac Research Fellow in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. Vini completed her PhD in Materials Science in 2014 from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (India), where she worked on developing novel interfaces for retinal prosthesis and bionic vision. She spent her post-PhD time in Canberra at the Australian National University developing nanoscaffolds for engineering the growth of neural networks. In 2020, Vini joined the University of Melbourne as a lecturer to continue and expand her cross-disciplinary research in neural tissue engineering.

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