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Scientists have developed a new technique in which a small implant can manipulate brain cells. How can it happen?
FREMONT, CA: A group of researchers from the United States and Korea developed a device that has the ability to control the neural circuits in the human brain, utilizing an implant with a smartphone.
The wireless device enables the optical neuromodulation as well as chronic chemical; thus, playing a crucial role in the delivery of drugs.
This wireless device replaces the traditional methods used by neuroscientists, which involves inflexible metal tubes and optical fibers for delivering drugs and light. Apart from restricting the movement of the patient caused by physical connections with large equipment, their rigid structure causes a sore in soft brain cells with time. This results in making the patient unsuitable for long term implantation. Though some efforts have been propounded partially to alleviate adverse cell reactions by involving soft probes and cordless platforms. However, the earlier services were restricted due to their inability to deliver medicines to significant stretches of time, in addition to their enormous and complicated control arrangements.
The scientists had to address the critical obstacle of evaporation and exhaustion for attaining persistent wireless drug delivery. Scientists from the University of Washington in Seattle and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, together, designed a neutral tool with a replaceable drug cartridge, which can empower the neuroscientists to evaluate similar mind circuits for many months without worrying about running out of medications.
These changeable drug cartridges are called 'plug and play' drug cartridges. These cartridges are assembled into a brain implant for mice with an ultrathin and soft probe, which comprises tiny LEDs and microfluidic channels, for limitless drug doses and light delivery.
Controlled with an easy user interface on a smartphone, the neuroscientists can immediately activate any type of certain mix or particular sequencing of light and medicine distributions in any of the implanted target animals without any need to be physically present inside the laboratory. These wireless neutral devices have enabled the researchers to set up fully automated animal studies effortlessly where one animal's behavior can negatively or positively affect the other animal's behavior by conditional triggering of light or drug delivery.
This powerful device is the product of nanoscale engineering and advanced electronics designing. The scientists are thinking of scaling up this technology for making Brain Implants for Clinical Implantation. They are planning to use this technology for intricate pharmacological studies, which will be helpful in drug development for addiction, pain, and other emotional disorders.
This wireless device will also help the neuroscientists in unveiling diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, addiction, depression, among others.
The KAIST researchers have established soft electronic devices for implantable and wearable devices. Following them, the Bruchas laboratory's neuroscientists at the University of Washington studied the brain circuits that regulate anxiety, tension, pain, dependency, and many other neuropsychiatric disorders. This collaborative initiative and multiple styles iterations have led to the validation of this brain implant in mice. Scientists believe that this can quicken the uncovering of the brain functions and its diseases.