Jan 17, 2024

This Graphene-Based Brain Implant Can Peer Deep Into the Brain From Its Surface

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Finding ways to reduce the invasiveness of brain implants could greatly expand their potential applications. A new device tested in mice that sits on the brain’s surface—but can still read activity deep within—could lead to safer and more effective ways to read neural activity.

There are already a variety of technologies that allow us to peer into the inner workings of the brain, but they all come with limitations. Minimally invasive approaches include functional MRI, where an MRI scanner is used to image changes of blood flow in the brain, and EEG, where electrodes placed on the scalp are used to pick up the brain’s electrical signals.

The former requires the patient to sit in an MRI machine though, and the latter is too imprecise for most applications. The gold standard approach involves inserting electrodes deep into brain tissue to obtain the highest quality readouts. But this requires a risky surgical procedure, and scarring and the inevitable shifting of the electrodes can lead to the signal degrading over time.

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