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This podcast's purpose is to bring together the field of neuroprosthetics / brain machine interfaces / brain implants in an understandable conversation about the current topics and breakthroughs. We hope to replace needing to read scientific papers on new research in an easy to digest way. Then people can share thoughts or ideas to facilitate 'idea sex' to make the field of brain implants a smaller and more personal space

Apr 29, 2019

Doctor Takashi Kozai, or Doctor TK Kozai, is currently an assistant professor at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He currently works in his own laboratory and researches in-vivo calcium brain imaging. He also has a background in research concerning carbon electrode development. He has been offered to work with the Neuralink Team associated with Elon Musk, but turned down the offer to focus on the innovational aspects of neural implant development.

Top Three Takeaways:

  1. In-vivo brain imaging seeks to map the generation of brain signals and realize how humans detect these signals.
  2. Though Kozai expresses his amazement at the work of Elon Musk’s team, he shares that he declined the offer to work with Neuralink because it did not necessarily focus on his interests.
  3. Innovation in any field lasts forever and influences the development of future technology.

Show Notes:

[0:00] Ladan introduces his guest TK Kozai that he met at the Neural Engineering Conference in San Francisco that he recently attended; he works with in-vivo calcium imaging and turned down Elon Musk’s offer to work on the Neuralink team.

[1:45] Kozai describes his interests as understanding the materials and designs of neural implants, as well as the biological degeneration and regeneration around the interfaces.

[2:20] In-vivo brain imaging seeks to map the generation of brain signals and realize how humans detect these signals.

[3:05] Kozai reaffirms the importance of glial cells and other molecules that support the functioning of neurons.

[4:15] Modulating the stiffness and designs of electrodes often has many unintentional effects.

[5:25] Kozai’s research has shown that higher frequency stimulation leads to decreased antidromic activation over time.

[7:10] Kozai confirms that there have been struggles in the path of his research development that had to be dealt with in order for progression.

[7:30] His team has been excited to use two-photon microscopy to study how degeneration tissue reaction nucleosis evolves over time.

[7:45] Challenges include head-capping and packaging of the neural interface.

[9:30] Kozai shares how his advisor initially had doubts concerning his research in carbon electrodes.

[10:30] Kozai explains how he set the research for his paper into motion from an idea.

[12:00] Though Kozai expresses his amazement at the work of Elon Musk’s team, he shares that he declined the offer to work with Neuralink because it did not necessarily focus on his interests.

[14:00] Academia explores the innovation and progression in neural bioelectronic development that is often exciting.

[15:00] Kozai’s lab is now focusing on how to treat different types of neural degeneration with engineering.

[16:40] Technological health developments can be developed from studying how injuries affect people genetically prone to certain neurodegenerative diseases.

[18:30] Kozai explains how is high-school biology teacher influenced his interest in biology.

[21:30] He hopes that technology in brain-machine interfaces will build-off and develop from his work.