Engineering Physics ITB Support Students to Develop Brain Engineering

By Neli Syahida

Editor -

BANDUNG, itb.ac.id - The development of Neuroscience is relied on technology development, especially technology which able to map brain and neuron connection. Aware of that condition, Engineering  Physics ITB held "Course on Current Brain Computer Interface Technologies in Brain Engineering" on Friday (29/11/13). Prof. Keum-Shik Hong from Pusan National University South Korea gave this course in Engineering  Physics' meeting room, T.P. Rachmat ITB Building.

The main discussion in this course is about functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) for functional neuroimaging purpose. Using fNIR, the brain activities can be measured through haemodynamics response. It is directly related with neuron activities. In Near-Infrared wavelength (700-900 nm), tissue, skin, and bone can't absorb light in that wavelenght. But, haemoglobin in both of bound and unbound with oxygen can absorb that light. The difference of spectra produced by oxyhaemoglobin and deoxyhaemoglobin can be used to determine their concentration in blood. By neurovascular coupling, neuron activities can be related to change of blood flow in brain.

fNIR has many advantages compared to previous technology. fNIR is lower cost and much simpler than previous instrument. Besides thath, fNIR use non-invasive method. The electrodes are just put on head. To improve its performance, researchers are still trying to develop more sophisticated fNIR. It is a Real Time Wireless fNIR. By this technology, diagnosis and therapy in neuropathology will be fast and easy. The instrument is also expected can be applied in Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), where communication occur directly between brain and external device. If BCI can be realized, cognitive and sensory-motor functions impairment can be repaired.

This course was brought by Keum-Shik Hong attractively because he is humorous. He also complete his presentation with simulation video, so the students can imagine it easier. The attendant show a high enthusiasm to this course. They come from not only Engineering Physics students, but also Electrical Engineering, Informatics Engineering, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, and etc.

fNIR technology will be promising in the future. Beside it can be used to diagnose brain and nerve-related disease, Real-Time Wireless fNIR also can solve unsolve medical problem until now. It's about limitation of communication in stroke patient. fNIR is also able to realize lie detector which until now it's just considered as science fiction. With this instrument, police department will be easier to reveal criminal. Prof. Keum-Shik Hong gave suggestion to engineer students, "To be survive and successful, create technology will be dreamt 10 years from now. Don't be stuck in what's available now." This course ended with awarding to Prof. Keum-Shik Hong and also take a picture with all of attendants.