Mafalda Teixeira Ribeiro

Controlled Biological Neuron Growth for the Creation of Animats and Novel AI Techniques

Project Summary

My project focuses on developing devices for directing the growth of biological neurons, as well as recording and stimulating these using electrical or optical means. The cultured neuronal network on the device can then interact with a simulated environment through an animat – a simulated robot. This setup could offer novel insights into the mechanisms behind intelligent behaviour at a miniaturised level, which could then be used to improve or create novel AI approaches. Given the interdisciplinarity of this project, concepts of ethics, accountability, responsibility, and transparency are crucial from growing biological cultures to any derived AI applications.


Research Interests

Using bioelectronics for better monitoring and understanding of cellular behaviour, and the mechanisms behind intelligence in order to develop novel AI techniques.


I received an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Bath, with a final year project focusing on the development of highly sensitive microfluidic lab-on-chip devices. I also had an industrial placement at Intel UK where I conducted digital design and verification of chips for mobile applications.


Dr Benjamin Metcalfe

Dr Christof Lutteroth

Dr Michael Proulx