[extropy-chat] Nerve cells grown on a microchip communicate with the brain

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 gpmap at runbox.com
Sun Feb 22 16:07:37 UTC 2004

>From CNEWS: Researchers at the University of Calgary have found that nerve
cells grown on a microchip can learn and memorize information which can be
communicated to the brain. This is a giant leap in answering several
fundamental questions of biology and neuro-electronics that will pave the
way for us to harness the power of nanotechnology. The findings could help
in the design of devices that combine electronic components and brain cells.
That includes controlling artificial limbs or restoring sight for the
visually impaired. Future research will focus on interfacing silicon chips
with the human brain to control artificial limbs and develop "thinking"
The article was published on Physical Review Letters, February 2004, as
"Neuron-Semiconductor Chip with Chemical Synapse between Identified
Neurons". Abstract: Noninvasive electrical stimulation and recording of
neuronal networks from semiconductor chips is a prerequisite for the
development of neuroelectronic devices. In a proof-of-principle experiment,
we implemented the fundamental element of such future hybrids by joining a
silicon chip with an excitatory chemical synapse between a pair of
identified neurons from the pond snail. We stimulated the presynaptic cell
(VD4) with a chip capacitor and recorded the activity of the postsynaptic
cell (LPeD1) with a transistor. We enhanced the strength of the soma-soma
synapse by repetitive capacitor stimulation, establishing a neuronal memory
on the silicon chip.
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