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.

Related Articles


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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
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

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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