Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Faulty Brain Wiring May Be Bypassed With Carbon Nanotubes

Date:
December 22, 2008
Source:
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Summary:
Research done by scientists in Italy and Switzerland has shown that carbon nanotubes may be the ideal 'smart' brain material. Their results are a promising step forward in the search to find ways to 'bypass' faulty brain wiring.

Research done by scientists in Italy and Switzerland has shown that carbon nanotubes may be the ideal "smart" brain material. Their results, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, are a promising step forward in the search to find ways to "bypass" faulty brain wiring.

The research shows that carbon nanotubes, which, like neurons, are highly electrically conductive, form extremely tight contacts with neuronal cell membranes. Unlike the metal electrodes that are currently used in research and clinical applications, the nanotubes can create shortcuts between the distal and proximal compartments of the neuron, resulting in enhanced neuronal excitability.

The study was conducted in the Laboratory of Neural Microcircuitry at EPFL in Switzerland and led by Michel Giugliano (now an assistant professor at the University of Antwerp) and University of Trieste professor Laura Ballerini. "This result is extremely relevant for the emerging field of neuro-engineering and neuroprosthetics," explains Giugliano, who hypothesizes that the nanotubes could be used as a new building block of novel "electrical bypass" systems for treating traumatic injury of the central nervous system. Carbon nano-electrodes could also be used to replace metal parts in clinical applications such as deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease or severe depression. And they show promise as a whole new class of "smart" materials for use in a wide range of potential neuroprosthetic applications.

Henry Markram, head of the Laboratory of Neural Microcircuitry and an author on the paper, adds: "There are three fundamental obstacles to developing reliable neuroprosthetics:

  1. stable interfacing of electromechanical devices with neural tissue,
  2. understanding how to stimulate the neural tissue, and
  3. understanding what signals to record from the neurons in order for the device to make an automatic and appropriate decision to stimulate.

The new carbon nanotube-based interface technology discovered together with state of the art simulations of brain-machine interfaces is the key to developing all types of neuroprosthetics -- sight, sound, smell, motion, vetoing epileptic attacks, spinal bypasses, as well as repairing and even enhancing cognitive functions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Giada Cellot, Emanuele Cilia, Sara Cipollone, Vladimir Rancic, Antonella Sucapane, Silvia Giordani, Luca Gambazzi, Henry Markram, Micaela Grandolfo, Denis Scaini, Fabrizio Gelain, Loredana Casalis, Maurizio Prato, Michele Giugliano and Laura Ballerini. Carbon nanotubes might improve neuronal performance by favouring electrical shortcuts. Nature Nanotechnology, Online December 21, 2008

Cite This Page:

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. "Faulty Brain Wiring May Be Bypassed With Carbon Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081221210150.htm>.
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. (2008, December 22). Faulty Brain Wiring May Be Bypassed With Carbon Nanotubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081221210150.htm
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. "Faulty Brain Wiring May Be Bypassed With Carbon Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081221210150.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:
from the past week

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