Navigation Links
First signals from brain nerve cells with ultrathin nanowires

Electrodes operated into the brain are today used in research and to treat diseases such as Parkinson's. However, their use has been limited by their size. At Lund University in Sweden, researchers have, for the first time, succeeded in implanting an ultrathin nanowire-based electrode and capturing signals from the nerve cells in the brain of a laboratory animal.

The researchers work at Lund University's Neuronano Research Centre in an interdisciplinary collaboration between experts in subjects including neurophysiology, biomaterials, electrical measurements and nanotechnology. Their electrode is composed of a group of nanowires, each of which measures only 200 nanometres (billionths of a metre) in diameter.

Such thin electrodes have previously only been used in experiments with cell cultures.

"Carrying out experiments on a living animal is much more difficult. We are pleased that we have succeeded in developing a functioning nano-electrode, getting it into place and capturing signals from nerve cells", says Professor Jens Schouenborg, who is head of the Neuronano Research Centre.

He sees this as a real breakthrough, but also as only a step on the way. The research group has already worked for several years to develop electrodes that are thin and flexible enough not to disturb the brain tissue, and with material that does not irritate the cells nearby. They now have the first evidence that it is possible to obtain useful nerve signals from nanometre-sized electrodes.

The research will now take a number of directions. The researchers want to try and reduce the size of the base to which the nanowires are attached, improve the connection between the electrode and the electronics that receive the signals from the nerve cells, and experiment with the surface structure of the electrodes to see what produces the best signals without damaging the brain cells.

"In the future, we hope to be able to make electrodes with nanostructured surfaces that are adapted to the various parts of the nerve cells parts that are no bigger than a few billionths of a metre. Then we could tailor-make each electrode based on where it is going to be placed and what signals it is to capture or emit", says Jens Schouenborg.

When an electrode is inserted into the brain of a patient or a laboratory animal, it is generally anchored to the skull. This means that it doesn't move smoothly with the brain, which floats inside the skull, but rather rubs against the surrounding tissue, which in the long term causes the signals to deteriorate. The Lund group's electrodes will instead be anchored by their surface structure.

"With the right pattern on the surface, they will stay in place yet still move with the body and the brain thereby opening up for long-term monitoring of neurones", explains Jens Schouenborg.

He praises the collaboration between medics, physicists and others at the Neuronano Research Centre, and mentions physicist Dmitry B. Suyatin in particular. He is the principal author of the article which the researchers have now published in the international journal PLOS ONE.

The overall goal of the Neuronano Research Centre is to develop electrodes that can be inserted into the brain to study learning, pain and other mechanisms, and, in the long term, to treat conditions such as chronic pain, depression and Parkinson's disease.


Contact: Jens Schouenborg
Lund University

Related medicine news :

1. First targeted nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies
2. First contact: Early intervention key in diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness
3. Donor Kidney Re-Used in Second Patient After Failing in First
4. Many Who First Misuse Prescription Pills Get Them From Friends, Family: Report
5. First-of-its-kind Menopause Map helps women navigate treatment
6. First recipients of AcademyHealths Presidential Scholarship announced
7. Kessler Foundation researchers present at first International Congress on Cognition in MS
8. Whos the Dad? First-Trimester Blood Test May Tell
9. AGA releases first independently developed ABIM-approved Practice Improvement Module in GI
10. Dr. Yael Mosse will receive first Nachman Award in Pediatric Oncology at national conference
11. First study investigating possible link between sunscreen ingredient and endometriosis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s often important to ... Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , She developed a ... or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn on a light ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and ... of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six ... years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... -- West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), ... administration, today announced that it will release third-quarter 2017 ... 26, 2017, and will follow with a conference call ... a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on the call, please ... is 94093362. A ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator ... precision medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s ... (POA) as its 17 th member. Through participation ... Cancer Institute will help develop standards of care and ... making cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an update ... Puerto Rico , where the company manufactures ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, the ... temporary loss of power and minimal water damage due ... have resumed, and the company expects to return to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: