Manipulation of Brain Cells Now Possible Using Smartphones
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Manipulation of Brain Cells can be achieved by using a tiny implant and a smartphone, a new technique developed by Scientists. 

A team of researchers from Korea and the United States invented a device that can control neural circuits in our brain, using an implant with the help of a smartphone.

According to Raza Qazi, a scientist at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder, this wireless device enables chronic chemical as well as optical neuromodulation, hence can play a critical role in drug delivery.

Qazi said this modern technology substantially overshadows conventional methods made use of by neuroscientists, which typically entail inflexible metal tubes as well as optical fibers to deliver drugs and light. Aside from limiting the patients’ movement as a result of the physical connections with large equipment, their fairly rigid structure causes a lesion in soft brain cells with time, as a result making them not suitable for long term implantation. Though some efforts have actually been propounded partially alleviate adverse cell response by including soft probes and cordless platforms, the previous services were limited by their failure to provide medicines for long periods of time in addition to their large and also intricate control setups.

To attain persistent wireless drug delivery, scientists had to address the essential obstacle of exhaustion and evaporation of drugs. Scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as well as the University of Washington in Seattle worked together to design a neural tool with a changeable drug cartridge, which might enable neuroscientists to examine the same mind circuits for numerous months without stressing over running out of drugs, hence removing the major challenge.

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Manipulation of Brain Cells- How was it Achieved?

‘Plug and Play’ drug cartridges which they are essentially called as were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs (smaller than a grain of salt), for unlimited drug doses and light delivery. Scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as well as the University of Washington in Seattle worked together to design a neural tool with a changeable drug cartridge, which might enable neuroscientists to examine the same mind circuits for several months.

Controlled with a classy and easy user interface on a smartphone phone, neuroscientists can quickly activate any kind of certain mix or specific sequencing of light and also drug distributions in any of the implanted target animals without the requirement to be physically inside the laboratory. Using these wireless neural devices, researchers could also easily set up fully automated animal studies where the behavior of one animal could positively or negatively affect behavior in other animals by the conditional triggering of light and/or drug delivery.

Jae-Woong Jeong, a professor of electrical engineering at KAIST said that this Powerful device which is used in the manipulation of Brain Cells is the fruit of advanced electronics design and powerful nanoscale engineering. He said that the scientists were further interested in scaling up this technology to make Brain Implants for Clinical Implantation. Scientists are planning to employ this technology for complex pharmacological studies which could be helpful in drug development for pain, addiction, and emotional disorders.

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Michael Bruchas, a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said that this will help neuroscientists in many ways including uncovering diseases such as ¬†Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression among others.

The researchers at KAIST established soft electronic devices for wearable and implantable devices, as well as the neuroscientists at the Bruchas laboratory at the University of Washington studied brain circuits that regulate tension, anxiety, dependency, pain, and various other neuropsychiatric disorders. This worldwide collaborative initiative among engineers and neuroscientists over a period of 3 consecutive years and also various style iterations resulted in the validation of this effective brain implant in mice, which scientists believe can really speed up the uncovering of the brain functions and its illness. This research which involved the manipulation of brain cells was funded by various institutes such as the National Research Foundation of Korea, the U.S. National Institute of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Mallinckrodt Professorship.

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Rahul Mishra is a Science enthusiast and eager to learn something new each day. He has a degree in Microbiology and has joined forces with Biotecnika in 2019 due to his passion for writing and science.

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