Title1: Programming Bacterial Nanonetworks to Dissolve the Biofilms at Multiple Sites
Title2: Decoding Head Movement of the Mouse Using its Head Direction Cells’ Spike Trains
Most chronic infectious diseases, such as gastrointestinal ulcers, and implant-associated osteomyelitis are due to the pathogenicity of biofilms – a slimy layer formed by aggregation of bacteria, which are often resistant to antibiotic medicines – where a proposed therapy involve monitoring diverse biofilm-signaling processes and proactively releasing right amount of antimicrobials based on physiological and behavioural settings of a patient. In the line with Horizon 2020 on antimicrobial resistance research, the proposed project is aimed to undertake a multidisciplinary approach by integrating communication and networking technology with synthetic biology to utilize bacterial nanonetworks as personalized healthcare provisioning for bacterial biofilm-associated chronic diseases. Current research on bacterial nanonetworks has been focused on how a message can be transmitted from a sender to a receiver efficiently
However, there is no research that exploits communication and networking capabilities among engineered bacteria for disruptive applications that can be of benefit medical or environmental applications for the EU.
In context of biofilm-associated medical treatment, we aim to address the fundamental challenge which is to enable swarm of engineered bacteria reach biofilm-forming sites and release precise amount of antimicrobial enzyme that is required to eradicate the biofilms within a specific time frame. Also these deployed bacterial nanonetworks need to be controlled according the patient’s behavioural and genetic makeup to ensure provide personalized healthcare, thereby necessitating the design of novel interfacing technique with Internet of Things (IoT).
Similarly to computer systems communicating with bits, neurons in human brain communicate with spikes. Underlying any behavioral functions, like moving or recognizing, or cognitive functions, like thinking or planning, thousands of neurons in different brain regions work in tandem by exchanging spikes. The spike is generated from a neuron as a sudden increase in potential when incoming signals at it rise above the threshold value of its membrane potential. The thus generated spike travels down the axon to the synapse (more technically known as presynapse), cause neurotransmitters to flood from the pre-synapse to postsynaptic part of the following neuron. Investigating neural computation underlying a certain task remains a active and hot research topic throughout the history of neuroscience and neurology. Over a couple of past decade the advent of invasive sophisticated devices, such as multi-electrode array (MEA) able to capture the
individual cell’s activity has led the discovery of diverse special cells, such as place, grid, and head direction cells. The common feature of these various type of cells exhibits repetitive firing patterns upon certain behavioral or mental tasks. In other words, concerted behavior of cell assembly often gives rise the successful execution of the given behavior. The study of these networks of cells provide one important piece of information on its own right: mapping brain function into the network perspective. Thus exploring computational power as well as characterization of these networks bring new dimension in better understanding of brain functions. The present research activity involves exploring the available experimental database on head direction cells of rodents to find out how the networks of cell activities give rise to a particular task and vice versa.