Understanding how networks of neurons in the mammalian brain process sensory inputs and shape motor outputs is one of science’s great challenges. Using holographic projection of multiple light probes, we aim to understand information flow in the mammalian brain. The light probes are directed into living brain tissues to manipulate neuronal signaling in three dimensions.


We aim to understand how the geometry of the extracelluar matrix of the brain influence neuronal circuit formation by studying the interplay between biomechanical from biochemical cues that each neuron experiences during growth. To introduce biomechanical cues and assess its impact, we grow neurons in an artificial ECM made of semiconductor nanowire scaffolds. We correlate neuronal morphology and function with the design of nanowires to systematically analyse biomechanical cues influencing growth and circuit formation. Furthermore, we employ neurophotonics tools to assess the function of neuronal circuits formed on the nanowire scaffolds.

Optical tweezers

Nanotechnology has a promising future in the fabrication of small machines - but exactly how these machines work is far less certain as they defy fundamental, classical thermodynamics. Using dynamically programmable multiple-beam optical tweezers, we aim to probe the work and energy dissipation of small systems, including those of single molecules, colloidal crystals, and membranes.

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster