The overarching goal of BrainCom is to nurture a technology paradigm shift by developing a new generation of very large-scale neuroprosthetic cortical devices based on novel materials and technologies that can provide a unique leap forward towards a new level of basic understanding of cortical speech networks and the advancement of rehabilitation solutions to restore speech and communication capabilities in disabled patients using innovative brain-computer paradigms.
Ultimately, BrainCom willfoster a novel line of knowledge and technologies that will seed the future generation of speech neural prostheses. To this end,the BrainCom project proposes a radically new neurotechnology taking advantage of unique properties of novel nanomaterials such as graphene, 2D materials and organic semiconductors, as well as device design rules related to these materials, in order to fabricate ultra-flexible cortical and intracortical implants enabling high density recording and stimulation over large cortical areas with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.
The specific objectives of the BrainCom project are:
To develop novel large-area cortical and intracortical neural interfaces integrating recording and stimulation capabilities based on very high-density (over 10,000 channels) ultra-flexible arrays of surface μECoG(microelectrocorticography) andintracortical devices.
To develop fully-customized integrated electronic circuits (ASICs) to overcome the limitation of the number of recording channels and to solve the issue of data acquisition and management of very high-density devices
To assess these novel technologies in behaving animals and use them to advance the fundamental understanding of the link between surface and intra cortical signals and dynamics in cortical circuits and pathways in order to devise more effective decoding strategies.
To gain a radically new fundamental understanding of the distributed brain circuits of speech and their plastic flexibility before and after lesions.
To perform clinical testing of innovative neurotechnologiesusing very high-density cortical arrays to achieve detailed mapping of human motor speech areas at very high resolution (500-1000 µm spacing over 5×5 cm2 and below 100 µm over smaller regions) and develop innovative decoding strategies to predict overt and covert speech production from cortical activity.