Neuron-reading nanowires could accelerate development of drugs to treat neurological diseases

UC San Diego

April, 2017
Neuron-reading nanowires could accelerate development of drugs to treat neurological diseases
Colorized SEM image of the nanowire array. Image courtesy of Integrated Electronics and Biointerfaces Laboratory, UC San Diego

Electrical Engineers from the University of California San Diego have teamed up with neurobiologists to develop nanowires that are capable of recording the electrical activity of neurons in fine detail. This capability opens the door to a system capable of screening drugs’ ability to treat neurological diseases, in addition to helping researchers better understand single cells’ ability to communicate in neuronal networks.

“We’re developing tools that will allow us to dig deeper into the science of how the brain works,” stated Shadi Dayeh, the project’s lead investigator and a professor of electrical engineering at UC San Diego.

Unlike existing high sensitivity measurement techniques that are destructive to the cell membrane and limited to one cell at a time, their device using an array of silicon nanowires is not-only nondestructive but can simultaneously measure changes in multiple neurons.

To read more about the research and the methodology, click here.

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