Scientists have invented artificial neurons that can be implanted in the brain to repair damage from Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative conditions.
In a report published in the British Telegraph newspaper, writer Sarah Knapton said that the electronic cells developed by teams at the University of Bath and a team of international collaborators are placed on a silicon chip and mimic the responses of biological neurons when they are powered by the nervous system.
She explained that the neurons are specialized cells responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses, allowing parts of the body to communicate, these cells represent the basic components of the brain and spinal cord and nervous system, as they are located around the heart.
Researchers have tried to create artificial brain cells for decades, but this process has been difficult because the way neurons respond to signals is often complex and unpredictable. Certain and create silicone flakes reflect this response.
“So far neurons have been like black boxes, but we have been able to open the black box and look inside,” said Professor Alan Nugaret of the Physics Department at the University of Bath, who is in charge of the project’s leadership.
The team believes that the invention could herald a new era of transplantation capable of treating chronic diseases, such as heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
In the case of heart failure, for example, the neurons at the base of the brain do not respond correctly to the comments of the nervous system, and in turn do not send the correct signals to the heart, and as a result, the heart does not pump blood with the necessary force.
The team is already using neurons to develop smart pacemakers that respond in real-time to heart demands, just like a healthy heart, rather than maintaining the constant rhythm of traditional devices, the author said.
Furthermore, these neurons can help repair the spinal cord injury during which the neural connection occurred completely, or where the brain cells died just as in Alzheimer’s.
The industrial cells only need one billion microprocessor power, or about 140 nanowatts, making them ideal for medical transplants.
For his part, Professor Nugaret said that the project would change the model adopted because it provides a solid way to reproduce the electrical properties of real neurons in fine detail.
Nogarit added that biological neurons are characterized by very complex behavior, and all we have done is to develop techniques to transfer the behavior of biological neurons to a piece of silicon, neurons are part of the brain and part of the central nervous system, and some diseases are caused by the decay of these neurons and loss of functions And not renewed.
It is therefore important that these failed neurons have vital circuits that they can replace to restore vital function in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, motor neuron disease, and heart failure.
The authors have shown that they were able to replicate the production of neurons in the hippocampal region of the brain and respiratory tract of mice when they were given a wide range of stimuli from different nerves.
Another co-author, Professor Julian Button, said that the frequency of respiratory neuron response in bioelectronics, which can be minimized and implanted, is very exciting and opens up tremendous opportunities for the use of smarter medications that encourage personal medicine approaches to treat a range of diseases and disabilities.
“This work opens up new horizons,” said Professor Giacomo Endevere, co-author of the study at the University of Zurich.
Source: British Press