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Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent sensors

Date:
October 13, 2016
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
Researchers have described in great detail how to fabricate and use transparent graphene neural electrode arrays in applications in electrophysiology, fluorescent microscopy, optical coherence tomography, and optogenetics.
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A blue light shines through a clear, implantable medical sensor onto a brain model. See-through sensors, which have been developed by a team of UW–Madison engineers, should help neural researchers better view brain activity.
Credit: Justin Williams research group

when University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers announced in the journal Nature Communications that they had developed transparent sensors for use in imaging the brain, researchers around the world took notice.

Then the requests came flooding in. "So many research groups started asking us for these devices that we couldn't keep up," says Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma, the Lynn H. Matthias Professor and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison.

Ma's group is a world leader in developing revolutionary flexible electronic devices. The see-through, implantable micro-electrode arrays were light years beyond anything ever created.

Although he and collaborator Justin Williams, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in biomedical engineering and neurological surgery at UW-Madison, patented the technology through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, they saw its potential for advancements in research. "That little step has already resulted in an explosion of research in this field," says Williams. "We didn't want to keep this technology in our lab. We wanted to share it and expand the boundaries of its applications."

As a result, in a paper published in the journal Nature Protocols, the researchers have described in great detail how to fabricate and use transparent graphene neural electrode arrays in applications in electrophysiology, fluorescent microscopy, optical coherence tomography, and optogenetics. "We described how to do these things so we can start working on the next generation," says Ma.

Now, not only are the UW-Madison researchers looking at ways to improve and build upon the technology, they also are seeking to expand its applications from neuroscience into areas such as research of stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, cardiac conditions, and many others. And they hope other researchers do the same.

"This paper is a gateway for other groups to explore the huge potential from here," says Ma. "Our technology demonstrates one of the key in vivo applications of graphene. We expect more revolutionary research will follow in this interdisciplinary field."


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Original written by Renee Meiller. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dong-Wook Park, Sarah K Brodnick, Jared P Ness, Farid Atry, Lisa Krugner-Higby, Amelia Sandberg, Solomon Mikael, Thomas J Richner, Joseph Novello, Hyungsoo Kim, Dong-Hyun Baek, Jihye Bong, Seth T Frye, Sanitta Thongpang, Kyle I Swanson, Wendell Lake, Ramin Pashaie, Justin C Williams, Zhenqiang Ma. Fabrication and utility of a transparent graphene neural electrode array for electrophysiology, in vivo imaging, and optogenetics. Nature Protocols, 2016; 11 (11): 2201 DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2016.127

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent sensors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161013220643.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2016, October 13). Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent sensors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161013220643.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent sensors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161013220643.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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