Micro transistor prototypes map the mind

April 12, 2013 by Blaine Friedlander
Micro transistor prototypes made at Cornell map the mind
This micro transistor can now obtain high-quality amplification and brain-signal recording better than ever before. A French scientific team used the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility to develop the prototypes. Credit: Department of Bioelectronics, Ecole des Mines

(Phys.org) —To make better mind maps, a group of French scientists – building on prototypes developed at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF) – have produced the world's first microscopic, organic transistors that can amplify and record signals from within the brain itself.

Helping patients and doctors alike, this is a substantial, 10-fold improvement in signal quality compared with current electrode technology.

In epileptic patients, recordings help to scout responsible for seizure genesis. For patients with , recordings help to chart the brain for tumor removal. In addition, electrical recordings of neuronal activity are being used in brain-machine interfaces to help paralyzed people control prosthetic limbs.

High-quality recordings of brain activity – challenging at best – need to be carefully amplified, but today's amplifiers are bulky and placed outside the skull, where the signal degrades. These new biocompatible, microdevices are flexible enough to go inside the brain and follow the curvilinear shape of the .

To develop the prototypes, the scientists used the CNF lithography and characterization suite of tools – which validates never-before-used concepts. The staff's experience converted initial designs into real devices quickly.

"To understand how the brain works, we record the activity of a large number of neurons. Transistors provide higher-quality recordings than electrodes – and, in turn, record more neuronal activity," said George Malliaras of the Microelectronics Center of Provence, France, and a lead author on the research. "The CNF prototyping allowed us to skip having to reinvent the wheel and saved us precious time and money."

The study, "In Vivo Recordings of Using ," was published in Nature Communications, March 2013.

Explore further: Attempting to predict epileptic seizure

Related Stories

Attempting to predict epileptic seizure

December 14, 2010

While the causes of epileptic seizures continue to confound brain researchers, scientists have been exploring how changes in the coordinated activity of brain networks, as monitored through electrodes, might help predict ...

New way to detect epileptic seizures

March 23, 2011

Researchers at Concordia University have pioneered a computer-based method to detect epileptic seizures as they occur – a new technique that may open a window on the brain's electrical activity. Their paper, "A Novel ...

Remixed brain waves reveal soundtrack of the human brain

November 14, 2012

Scientists have combined and translated two kinds of brain wave recordings into music, transforming one recording (EEG) to create the pitch and duration of a note, and the other (fMRI) to control the intensity of the music. ...

Recommended for you

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source

January 18, 2017

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2013
Can I order some of these? I will gladly have them implanted if I get to keep them after you are done testing. I would have a very lucrative time playing professional gaming contests with an impossible to beat response time.
1 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2013
This concept is a little bit stolen from my papers which are summarized in the recent review: Sklyar R., "A CNTFET-Based Nanowired Induction Two-Way Transducers, ISRN Nanotechnology, 2012, Article ID 102783, doi: 10.5402/2012/102783 . For example such as: 1) "Employing the Superconducting Properties of the Molecular Chain and OFET for the Precise Currents Transducing", The Plastic Electronics Conference & Exhibition 2010, Dresden, Germany, P-6-03#16; 2) "Application of the Flexible Pickup Coils in Connection With OFETs for Distribution e-Textile Sensors in an Array", Proc. of the Largearea, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention 2010 (LOPE-C 2010), ISBN 978-3-00-029955-1, pp. 227-232; 3) "A Complex of the Electromagnetic Biosensors with a Nanowired Pickup", J. of Sensors, vol. 2009, www.hindawi.com/j...850.html .
But this is a trifle stingy in comparison with other "group of French scientists": https://connect.i...sr/blogs ( A robbery à la France)!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.