Navigation Links
Nanowire arrays can detect signals along individual neurons

Opening a whole new interface between nanotechnology and neuroscience, scientists at Harvard University have used slender silicon nanowires to detect, stimulate, and inhibit nerve signals along the axons and dendrites of live mammalian neurons.

Harvard chemist Charles M. Lieber and colleagues report on this marriage of nanowires and neurons this week in the journal Science.

"We describe the first artificial synapses between nanoelectronic devices and individual mammalian neurons, and also the first linking of a solid-state device -- a nanowire transistor -- to the neuronal projections that interconnect and carry information in the brain," says Lieber, the Mark Hyman, Jr., Professor of Chemistry in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "These extremely local devices can detect, stimulate, and inhibit propagation of neuronal signals with a spa-tial resolution unmatched by existing techniques."

Electrophysiological measurements of brain activity play an important role in understanding signal propagation through individual neurons and neuronal networks, but existing technologies are relatively crude: Micropipette electrodes poked into cells are invasive and harmful, and microfabricated electrode arrays are too bulky to detect activity at the level of individual axons and dendrites, the neuronal projections responsible for electrical signal propagation and inter-neuron communication.

By contrast, the tiny nanowire transistors developed by Lieber and colleagues gently touch a neuronal projection to form a hybrid synapse, making them noninvasive, and are thousands of times smaller than the electronics now used to measure brain activity.

Lieber's group has previously shown that nanowires can detect, with great precision, molecular markers indicating the presence of cancer in the body, as well as single viruses. Their latest work takes advantage of the size similarities between ul tra-fine silicon nanowires and the axons and dendrites projecting from nerve cells: Nanowires, like neuronal offshoots, are just tens of nanometers in width, making the thin filaments a good match for intercepting nerve signals.

Because the nanowires are so slight -- their contact with a neuron is no more than 20 millionths of a meter in length -- Lieber and colleagues were able to measure and manipulate electrical conductance at as many as 50 locations along a single axon.

The current work involves measurement of signals only within single mammalian neurons; the researchers are now working toward monitoring signaling among larger networks of nerve cells. Lieber says the devices could also eventually be configured to measure or detect neurotransmitters, the chemicals that leap synapses to carry electrical impulses from one neuron to another.

"This work could have a revolutionary impact on science and technology," Lieber says. "It provides a powerful new approach for neuroscience to study and manipulate signal propagation in neuronal networks at a level unmatched by other techniques; it provides a new paradigm for building sophisticated interfaces between the brain and external neural prosthetics; it represents a new, powerful, and flexible approach for real-time cellular assays useful for drug discovery and other applications; and it opens the possibility for hybrid circuits that couple the strengths of digital nanoelectronic and biological computing components."


'"/>

Source:Harvard University


Related biology news :

1. Nanowires can detect molecular signs of cancer, scientists find
2. Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible
3. Agilent Technologies releases probe sequence, annotation information for all its commercial gene expression microarrays
4. Characterizing Skin Cancer by Microarrays
5. Microarrays as phenotype
6. Agilent Technologies introduces advanced zebrafish, mouse microarrays for stem cell and developmental biology research
7. Carnegie Mellon U. transforms DNA microarrays with standard Internet communications tool
8. Novel technology detects human DNA mutations
9. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
10. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
11. Development of portable infectious disease detector
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/9/2016)... NEW YORK , March 9, 2016 ... current and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA ... in segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such ... RNA-Sequencing services Identify the main factors affecting each segment ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... , March 8, 2016   Valencell , ... today announced it has secured $11M in Series ... Tech, a new venture fund being launched by ... participation from existing investors TDF Ventures and WSJ ... to continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate its ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... and DE SOTO, Kansas , ... Stroke Detection Plus® to offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, ... and early detection of lung cancer Early ... unions and individuals. --> Early CDT®-Lung test ... individuals. --> Oncimmune, a leader in early ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Asymmetrex will deliver a talk on its first-in-class technologies for tissue ... 2016 Meeting on RNAiMicroRNA Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of Smart Data analytic and data management ... The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data Companies of 2016.” , “From ... end users facing some of the most complex data challenges in the industry,” said ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Touch screen mobile devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for ... a few ways consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... The Board of Directors of Biohaven ... Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  Mr. Tilton joined Biohaven from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... responsible for the commercialization of multiple orphan drug indications. Mr. Tilton has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: