Print 12 comment(s) - last by pinch.. on May 11 at 3:59 AM

Scientists have been able to use nanotubes to successfully transmit electrical signals to nerve cells in a laboratory environment

Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have announced that they have been able to send electrical signals to nerve cells using nanotubes.

Nanotubes are tiny hollow carbon filaments measuring 1.3nm, and are showing considerable promise across multiple fields of study including biomedical and semiconductor research.

 "As far as I know, we're the first group to show that you can have some kind of electrical communication between these two things, by stimulating cells through our transparent conductive layer," said Todd Pappas, director of sensory and molecular neuroengineering at UTMB's Center for Biomedical Engineering and one of the study's senior authors.

The research group used two different types of cells in their experiments, neuroblastoma cells, commonly used in test-tube experiments and neurons cultured from laboratory rats. The cells were placed on ten-layer-thick "mats" of single-walled carbon nanotubes that had been deposited on a transparent plastic substrate. This enabled the researchers to use a microscope to position a tiny electrode next to individual nerve cells and record their responses to electrical pulses transmitted through the nanotubes.

The researchers also studied the effects on nerve cells using different types of nanotubes, "Native carbon nanotubes support neuron attachment and growth well -- as we expected, better than the two types of functionalized nanotubes we tested," Pappas said. "Next we want to find a way to functionalize the nanotubes to make neuron attachment and communication better and make these surfaces more biocompatible."

The researchers also want to find out whether nanotubes are sensitive enough to record ongoing electrical activity in cells. "Where we want to get to is a device that can both sense and deliver stimuli to cells for things like prosthetic control," Pappas said.


Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Orpheus333 on 5/9/2006 1:15:59 AM , Rating: 2
wasn't it recently disputed that carbon nano-tubes would cause cancer?

I for one cannot WAIT to have possibly carcinogenic carbon fiber nano-tubes implanted into my neurons.

RE: what?
By GhandiInstinct on 5/9/2006 2:58:29 AM , Rating: 1
Yes I'm teeming with excitement to become a cyborg as well :)

RE: what?
By jimmiwalker on 5/9/2006 7:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
Carbon nanotubes:
- are wires in the core of future processors
- are strong enough for a bullet-proof T-shirt
- are strong enough for building structures
- are strong enough for space elevator
- are material of capacitor based future accumulators
- can connect to nerve cells
- are material of future displays

This way they simly MUST cause cancer. Or cure it.

RE: what?
By Dfere on 5/9/2006 8:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot....
They are a part of the basic microcircuitry necessary for the Voltron defense shield AND

allow for Missile Weapon Technology Upgrade: Plasma Weapons

By Misty Dingos on 5/9/2006 11:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
Oh too late for Superman. But I am sure some people with spinal injuries are keeping an eye on this research.

RE: Superman
By breethon on 5/9/2006 12:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, my dad has Multiple Sclerosis. He was diagnosed back in the early 80's. He can no longer stand/walk, and has a cathetor inserted in his stomach. All because his nerves can't get his brain's signals to his body parts. This kind of technology is very exciting to see. I mean, it could cure many neurological diseases. Get your stock broker to change your investments could be the next Warren Buffet!

By Scabies on 5/9/2006 12:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
I still cant wait for the iNerve, controlling and listening to your little white (at this point, possibly implanted) iPod cyberconneticly
(not a real word)

By Scabies on 5/9/2006 12:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
(not to start a battle, but I use creative, and probably wont ever use an iPod, even if I can have it implanted)

nano tubes short out your brain
By drewsup on 5/9/2006 8:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
If enough of these get in your body, will they eventually "short" out your neurons?

By Master Kenobi on 5/9/2006 11:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

Yea, I had to say it... but wouldn't being a cyborg be cool? I mean we can augment people to be more suited for things.

By pinch on 5/11/2006 3:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly American way...

OMFG!!1!11! Da1lyt3c4 BL0W5!!1!
By Eris23007 on 5/8/06, Rating: 0
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki