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New “bionic hybrid neuro chip” to improve understanding of brain function by enabling high-fidelity, long-term recordings of brain cell activity

brain_chipNeu­ro Chip Records Brain Cell Activ­i­ty (R&D):

Brain func­tions are con­trolled by mil­lions of brain cells. How­ev­er, in order to under­stand how the brain con­trols func­tions, such as sim­ple reflex­es or learn­ing and mem­o­ry, we must be able to record the activ­i­ty of large net­works and groups of neu­rons. Con­ven­tion­al meth­ods have allowed sci­en­tists to record the activ­i­ty of neu­rons for min­utes, but a new tech­nol­o­gy, devel­oped by Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary researchers, known as a bion­ic hybrid neu­ro chip, is able to record activ­i­ty in ani­mal brain cells for weeks at a much high­er resolution…The devel­op­ment of this tech­nol­o­gy will allow researchers to inves­ti­gate and under­stand in greater depth, in ani­mal mod­els, the ori­gins of neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases and con­di­tions such as epilep­sy, as well as oth­er cog­ni­tive func­tions such as learn­ing and mem­o­ry.”

Study: A nov­el bio-mim­ic­k­ing, pla­nar nano-edge micro­elec­trode enables enhanced long-term neur­al record­ing (Sci­en­tif­ic Reports)

  • Abstract: Our inabil­i­ty to accu­rate­ly mon­i­tor indi­vid­ual neu­rons and their synap­tic activ­i­ty pre­cludes fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing of brain func­tion under nor­mal and var­i­ous patho­log­i­cal con­di­tions. How­ev­er, recent break­throughs in micro- and nano-scale fab­ri­ca­tion process­es have advanced the devel­op­ment of neu­ro-elec­tron­ic hybrid tech­nol­o­gy. Among such devices are three-dimen­sion­al and pla­nar elec­trodes, offer­ing the advan­tages of either high fideli­ty or longer-term record­ings respec­tive­ly. Here, we present the next gen­er­a­tion of pla­nar micro­elec­trode arrays with “nano-edges” that enable long-term (>1 month) and high fideli­ty record­ings at a res­o­lu­tion 15 times high­er than tra­di­tion­al pla­nar elec­trodes. This nov­el tech­nol­o­gy enables bet­ter under­stand­ing of brain func­tion and offers a tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty towards the devel­op­ment of future bion­ic hybrids and drug dis­cov­ery devices.

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Technology

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