Soft Electronics Helps in Capturing Brain Signals without Damaging Neurons or Tissues

Soft Electronics Helps in Capturing Brain Signals without Damaging Neurons or Tissues

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Operating as a principal investigator at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Klas Tybrandt has found a solution for stable neural recording in the long term by developing a new technology. An innovative elastic material composite which maintains high electrical conductivity despite being stretched to two times its genuine length and is biocompatible has been used as a basis of the technology. Tybrandt collaborated with New York and Zürich colleagues to achieve the result. An article published in Advanced Materials has described the breakthrough which is considered to be vital for several biomedical engineering applications.

Breakthrough Forms Foundation of Soft Electronics Established at Linköping University

The pairing of nerve cells and electronic components is not just important for garnering cell signaling information but also diagnosing and treating epilepsy and other neurological diseases and disorders. It could be significantly difficult to obtain long-term stable connections that avoid damage to tissues or neurons. This could be because rigid and hard electronic components and elastic and soft body tissues hold entirely different mechanical properties as two separate systems. However, Tybrandt’s new conductive material could be stretched to double its length and is as soft as human tissue. Embedded into silicone rubber, titanium dioxide nanowires coated with gold have been said to make up the material.

Columbia University and New York University researchers have implanted soft microelectrodes developed at ETH Zurich and Linköping University in rat brains. For three months or so, the researchers had been able to gather top-quality neural signals from the rats moving at will.