Interdisciplinary approach makes linking biological materials and electronic devices possible
One of the biggest challenges in cognitive or rehabilitation neurosciences is the ability to design a functional hybrid system that can connect and exchange information between biological systems, like neurons in the brain, and human-made electronic devices. A large multidisciplinary effort of researchers in Italy brought together physicists, chemists, biochemists, engineers, molecular biologists and physiologists to analyze the biocompatibility of the substrate used to connect these biological and human-made components, and investigate the functionality of the adhering cells, creating a living biohybrid system.
In an article appearing this week in AIP Advances, from AIP Publishing, the research team used the interaction between light and matter to investigate the material properties at the molecular level using Raman spectroscopy, a technique that, until now, has been principally applied to material science. Thanks to the coupling of the Raman spectrometer with a microscope, spectroscopy becomes a useful tool for investigating micro-objects such as cells and tissues. Raman spectroscopy presents clear advantages for this type of investigation: The molecular composition and the modi?cation of subcellular compartments can be obtained in label-free conditions with non-invasive methods and under physiological conditions, allowing the investigation of a large variety of biological processes both in vitro and in vivo.
Once the biocompatibility of the substrate was analyzed and the functionality of the adhering cells investigated, the next part of this puzzle is connecting with the electronic component. In this case a memristor was used.
“Its name reveals its peculiarity (MEMory ResISTOR), it has a sort of “memory”: depending on the amount of voltage that has been applied to it in the past, it is able to vary its resistance, because of a change of its microscopic physical properties,” said Silvia Caponi, a physicist at the Italian National Research Council in Rome. By combining memristors, it is possible to create pathways within the electrical circuits that work similar to the natural synapses, which develop variable weight in their connections to reproduce the adaptive/learning mechanism. Layers of organic polymers, like polyaniline (PANI) a semiconductor polymer, also have memristive properties, allowing them to work directly with biological materials into a hybrid bio-electronic system.
“We applied the analysis on a hybrid bio-inspired device but in a prospective view, this work provides the proof of concept of an integrated study able to analyse the status of living cells in a large variety of applications that merges nanosciences, neurosciences and bioelectronics,” said Caponi. A natural long-term objective of this work would be interfacing machines and nervous systems as seamlessly as possible.
The multidisciplinary team is ready to build on this proof of principle to realize the potential of memristor networks.
“Once assured the biocompatibility of the materials on which neurons grow,” said Caponi, “we want to define the materials and their functionalization procedures to find the best configuration for the neuron-memristor interface to deliver a full working hybrid bio-memristive system.”
Learn more: Researchers Create Living Bio-Hybrid System
The Latest on: Living biohybrid system
via Google News
The Latest on: Living biohybrid system
- Protein-polymer bioconjugates via a versatile oxygen tolerant photoinduced controlled radical polymerization approachon March 20, 2020 at 3:14 am
To examine the oxygen consumption behavior of our system, we employed an in situ oxygen probe which enabled the online monitoring of the dissolved oxygen under the following conditions ...
- Engineers create shape-changing, free-roaming soft roboton March 18, 2020 at 4:52 pm
“This helps make it an adaptable and robust system.” “A key understanding we developed was that to create motion with a large, soft pneumatic robot, you don’t actually need to pump air in and out,” ...
- Nanobiohybrids: Materials approaches for bioaugmentationon March 18, 2020 at 11:19 am
R. China. See allHide authors and affiliations Nanobiohybrids, synthesized by integrating functional nanomaterials with living systems, have emerged as an exciting branch of research at the interface ...
- Crosstalk captured between muscles, neural networks in biohybrid machineson March 10, 2020 at 8:02 am
"The field of biohybrid robots is trying to explore whether machines can at all be made with living cells and scaffolds, what are the scaling laws, and what are the minimum conditions for their ...
- Cyborg jellyfish? Scientists create sci-fi creature to explore oceanson February 18, 2020 at 2:56 am
These “biohybrid robots” are raising ethical questions ... They don’t have brains, lungs or a central nervous system. And they weren’t harmed during the experiments, which took place ...
- Long-living and highly efficient bio-hybrid light-emitting diodes with zero-thermal-quenching biophosphorson February 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Fluorescence thermal denaturation experiments were carried out using a StepOne Real-time PCR system (Applied Biosystems). Data were acquired exciting at 488 nm and measuring the fluorescence ...
- Low-power microelectronics embedded in live jellyfish enhance propulsionon January 29, 2020 at 10:59 am
Thus, a biohybrid robot that uses a system of microelectronics to externally control swimming in live jellyfish can advance both the science and engineering of aquatic locomotion. Actuation and power ...
- Tiny ‘biohybrid’ robots directed by muscles and nerves built by researcherson September 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm
"The ability to drive muscle activity with neurons paves the way for further integration of neural units within biohybrid systems," Taher Saif, a mechanical science and engineering professor at ...
- Case Western Reserve University Scientists Create “Biohybrid” Robots from Sea Slug Muscles and 3D Printed Partson July 20, 2016 at 6:15 am
The “biohybrid” robots ... machines that combine the adaptability and durability of living tissue with the controllability of a robot. The small machines, in their current form, crawl with ...
via Bing News