Severe neuronal disorders such as dementia affect more than 1 billion people globally and account for economic burden far exceeding that of cancer. Our only chance of treating dementia is improving our understanding of how brains function at diverse levels of complexity. This will only be possible through better technologies, which already reflects in synchronised actions worldwide, such as the US Brain Initiative and EU Human Brain project.
The origin ERC project LIFEGATE has developed minimally invasive (hair-thin) endoscopes for advanced applications in neuroscience, and brought about a solid route to their commercial outreach. The instruments rely on state-of-the-art digital holographic methods combined with high-performance computing. They offer uniquely detailed observations in unprecedented depths of living, yet anaesthetized, animal models, making them particularly suitable to studies of connectivity of neuronal cells inside their natural environment.
This proposal, entitled WOKEGATE, represents a powerful extension of this concept, enabling imaging-informed, single-cell specific activity monitoring and control of deep neuronal circuits in fully awake and behaving animals. The prospect is centred around a novel M3CF fibre probes which emerged within the origin ERC project LIFEGATE, outside its proposed research agenda.
The project aims for (i) necessary technological amendments to incorporate this opportunity into the holographic endoscope geometries, (ii) a direct verification of this prospect in in-vivo studies through the network of existing research partners and (iii) paving the way for commercial translation of such empowered scientific instrumentation.
Successful acquisition and execution of the WOKEGATE will enable future perspectives of this promising technology through new opportunities such as the EIC Accelerator grant.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme