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Brain-on-chip Research Mimics Brain Function

With hundreds of billions of neurons and thousands of trillions of synaptic connections between them, the human brain is considered the most complex system on earth. This complexity makes studying the brain an almost overwhelming challenge with nearly infinite research options.

To systematize research components into elements that can be understood on their own or in conjunction with one another, Hansang Cho, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and his research team have developed innovative brain-on-chip devices and monitoring nanotechnologies. Brain-on-chip essentially means micro-scaled platforms that mimic brain functions and allow for unobstructed observations on small, controllable devices. As a mechanical engineer, Cho has expertise in building such devices that has led to in-depth research and achieved high-impact international publication about three types of brain chips covering most of brain activities.

Cho’s research group is part of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Science at UNC Charlotte. His work is currently funded by the Cure Alzheimer Fund and the Charlotte Research Institute. The research team includes five undergraduate students, one graduate student, two post-doctoral fellows and one visiting professor.

Ranis' Work Part of USA Today's 'Must-see' Exhibits

Work by Associate Professor of Art Marek Ranis is part of an international exhibition in the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. The contemporary art exhibition "View From Up Here: The Arctic at the Center of the World" presents photographs, film, installations and sculpture by 14 artists who come from Canada, Europe and the United States. It was named by USA Today as one of the 12 "must-see" exhibits of the summer.

Ranis contributed "Like Shishmaref," a 16-minute film that juxtaposes video of the eroded coasts of the Alaskan Inupiaq village of Shishmaref and the North Carolina Outer Banks.

"Like Shishmaref" is the most recent creative work in Arctic Utopia; it is a collaborative project with the Alaskan poet Joan Naviyuk Kane that includes a multimedia installation, the film and a play.