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Building Human Brains with Semiconductor chips

Hybrid neuroelectronic devices will be the basis for future information technology relying on the plasticity of networks formed by mammalian neurons in culture. Microelectronic implants interfaced with neurons in the nervous tissue will become sophisticated medical facilities capableable of rescuing impairments of the human nervous system.

The present project deals with the fundamental aspect of electronic interfacing of microstructured silicon chips to rat neurons in culture. Its focus is the optimization of electrical coupling in both directions, from excited mammalian neurons to transistors and from stimulation areas on the chip to the cells. This will be achieved with the expression of mutated sodium channels lacking inactivation in the neurons and with the induction of channels accumulation at the neuron-silicon interface. The use of highly integrated CMOS(Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) chips is being tested.

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