Headshot portrait of Ramandeep Vilkhu - Bio-X Bowes Fellow
Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2021
Home Department: Electrical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Subhasish Mitra (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and E.J. Chichilnisky (Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology)

Research Title: Optimization and Biophysical Modeling of Electrical Stimulation Strategies for Brain-Computer Interfaces to Enhance Stimulation at Cellular-Resolution

Research Description: Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have the ability to revolutionize medicine by replacing degenerated neural pathways with embedded electronics. Ramandeep will focus on the design of a retinal BCI that electrically records from and stimulates retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to reproduce vision in patients suffering from photoreceptor degenerative diseases. The restored vision produced by current retinal BCIs is limited by imperfect electrical stimulation, leading to unnatural patterns of RGC activity. He proposes to create a biophysically-based model to optimize RGC responses to spatiotemporal patterns of electrical stimulation, at single cell resolution, and test the model experimentally in a laboratory retinal BCI prototype.