Scientists have come up with a unique way to interface with the brain and nerve cells in a way that the sensory functions can be controlled. They have used graphene in its untreated form. Graphene is a two-dimensional allotrope of carbon with a honey-comb lattice structure where each vertex is formed by one atom each. It is the foundation for graphite, charcoal and fullerenes. It is 100 times stronger than the strongest steel out there and it conducts heat and electricty and is almost transparent.Graphene - #Brain Interface Could Help Scientists Control and Harness Brain and Nervous in a Big Way! Click To Tweet
Researchers have successfully demonstrated how it is possible to interface graphene – a two-dimensional form of carbon – with neurons, or nerve cells, while maintaining the integrity of these vital cells. The work may be used to build graphene-based electrodes that can safely be implanted in the brain, offering promise for the restoration of sensory functions for amputee or paralysed patients, or for individuals with motor disorders such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease. (Source)
In a research study published in ACS Nano, which was a collaboration between University of Trieste in Italy and the Cambridge Graphene Centre, the researchers may have initiated work in an area that has tremendous potential to handle degenerative diseases and states where body may have lost nerve control.
According to the researchers, this is the first step towards using pristine graphene-based materials as an electrode for a neuro-interface. In future, the researchers will investigate how different forms of graphene, from multiple layers to monolayers, are able to affect neurons, and whether tuning the material properties of graphene might alter the synapses and neuronal excitability in new and unique ways. “Hopefully this will pave the way for better deep brain implants to both harness and control the brain, with higher sensitivity and fewer unwanted side effects,” said Ballerini.
In the coming years, there is an attempt by the scientists and researchers to work on brain so as to influence it in handling many abnormalities. Also read: A New IBM’s Patent Could Help you Google your Own Memories When Needed!
Books on Brain that you may like
Featured Image source: Flickr