Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Semiconductor Brain: Nerve Tissue Interfaced With A Computer Chip

Date:
June 2, 2006
Source:
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Summary:
For the first time, scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich coupled living brain tissue to a chip equivalent to the chips that run computers. The researchers under Peter Fromherz have reported this news in the online edition of the Journal of Neurophysiology (May 10, 2006).

A thin tissue slice of a rat hippocampus region (top) is cultivated on a semiconductor chip with 16.384 sensory transistors per square millimetre (center, dark coloured square). Following excitation the chip maps the electrical activity of the neurons (bottom), caused by activity of synapses (red: positive, blue: negative). (Copyright: Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry)

For the first time, scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich coupled living brain tissue to a chip equivalent to the chips that run computers. The researchers under Peter Fromherz have reported this news in the online edition of the Journal of Neurophysiology (May 10, 2006).

Related Articles


Before informational input perceived by the mammalian brain is stored in the long-term memory, it is temporarily memorised in the hippocampus*. Understanding the function of the hippocampus as an important player in the memory process is a major topic of current brain research. Thin slices of this brain region provide the appropriate material to study the intact neural network of the hippocampus.

Methods commonly used in neurophysiology are invasive, restricted to a small number of cells or suffer from low spatial resolution. The scientists in Martinsried developed a revolutionary non- invasive technique that enables them to record neural communication between thousands of nerve cells in the tissue of a brain slice with high spatial resolution. This technique involves culturing razor-thin slices of the hippocampus region on semiconductor chips. These chips were developed in collaboration with Infineon Technologies AG and excel in their density of sensory transistors: 16384 transistors on an area of one square millimeter record the neural activity in the brain.

Recording the activity patterns of the united cell structure of an intact mammalian brain tissue represents a significant technological breakthrough. Employing the new technique, the biophysicists working under the direction of Peter Fromherz were able to visualize the influence of pharmaceutical compounds on the neural network. This makes the “brain-chip” from Martinsried a novel test system for brain and drug research.

As early as 1991, Peter Fromherz and his co-workers succeeded in interfacing single leech nerve cells with semiconductor chips. Subsequent research gave rise to bidirectional communication between chip and small networks of a few molluscan nerve cells. In this project, it was possible to detect the signalling between cells via their synapses. The chips used in these studies were developed and produced by the scientists themselves. The production requirements of the chip described above made collaboration with industry indispensable. With the resulting novel hybrid system of neural tissue and semiconductor, the scientists take a great step forward towards neurochip prosthetics and neurocomputation.

Original publication: M. Hutzler, A. Lambacher, B. Eversmann, M. Jenkner, R. Thewes, and P. Fromherz: High- resolution multi-transistor array recording of electrical field potentials in cultured brain slices. Journal of Neuropyhsiology. Preprint online (May 10, 2006). doi:10.1152/jn.00347.2006


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. "Semiconductor Brain: Nerve Tissue Interfaced With A Computer Chip." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060602172512.htm>.
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. (2006, June 2). Semiconductor Brain: Nerve Tissue Interfaced With A Computer Chip. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060602172512.htm
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. "Semiconductor Brain: Nerve Tissue Interfaced With A Computer Chip." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060602172512.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WikiLeaks Refuses To Let Sony Hack Die, Posts Database

WikiLeaks Refuses To Let Sony Hack Die, Posts Database

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) WikiLeaks&apos; Julian Assange says the hacked emails and documents "belong in the public domain." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Self-Powering Camera

Scientists Create Self-Powering Camera

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 17, 2015) American scientists build a self-powering camera that captures images without using an external power source, allowing it to operate indefinitely in a well-lit environment. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The State Of Virtual Reality

The State Of Virtual Reality

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Virtual Reality is still a young industry. What’s on offer and what should we expect from our immersive new future? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cybercrime Could Cost $400 Bln

Cybercrime Could Cost $400 Bln

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2015) Representatives from around 160 countries gather at the Hague to discuss cyber space and cyber security, including the dilemmas and challenges regarding the evolution of the internet. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins