Artificial Neurons

July 6th, 2015 by

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Linkoping University of Sweden have developed what they describe as a “fully functional neuron” that mimics the function of a human nerve cell. The system, which the researchers are calling an organic electronic biomimetic neuron, combines a biosensor and ion pump. It senses chemical changes, and translates the changes into an electrical/ionic signal. The signal travels along an “axon” to a “synapse”, where it releases chemical signals, which then trigger another neuron, and so forth. A biomimetic neuron could eventually be miniaturized and implantable, according to the researchers. As such, it would be used to improve treatments for neurological disorders, which are currently treated through traditional electrical stimulation. As a next step, the researchers plan to miniaturize the system to enable implantation and to allow it to wirelessly release neurotransmitters.




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