Here’s more from those scientists in Martinsried, Germany, who have developed an innovative method for splicing neural tissue with semi-conductors:
A thin tissue slice of a rat hippocampus region is cultivated on a semiconductor chip with 16.384 sensory transistors per square millimetre. Following excitation the chip maps the electrical activity of the neurons, caused by activity of synapses.
Before informational input perceived by the mammalian brain is stored in the long-term memory, it is temporarily memorised in the hippocampus. Understanding the function of the hippocampus as an important player in the memory process is a major topic of current brain research. Thin slices of this brain region provide the appropriate material to study the intact neural network of the hippocampus.
Recording the activity patterns of the united cell structure of an intact mammalian brain tissue represents a significant technological breakthrough. Employing the new technique, the biophysicists working under the direction of Peter Fromherz were able to visualize the influence of pharmaceutical compounds on the neural network. This makes the “brain-chip” from Martinsried a novel test system for brain and drug research.
More in the press release…
Flashback: Neuro-Semiconductor Interface developed (3/06)… computer chip pings neuron (4/06)…
(hat tip: Slashdot)