Innovative wireless implantable devices helping scientists control brains

New information published in the journal Nature Methods reveal a new innovative way in which experiments will be conducted in the future using a wireless implant device that stimulates the brain.

Researchers are now able to stimulate the brain nerves in mice and eliminate the long wire hookups once needed. This new process allows mice to move more freely during experiments. The technology is also being tested using multiple mice and to use with barriers such as tunnels that they were previously not able to utilize due to the wires, according to National Monitor.

The technology is called optogenetics and it is when scientists utilize light to control activity in the brain.

The research behind the invention was lead by a team at Stanford University who truly believed that by developing this type of device they could lead the way for future research offering a more flexible and customizable design option.

According to an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the university, Ada Poon, the innovation is a new way of utilizing wireless technology for the purpose of optogenetics and that by being smaller it is giving scientists more options on the way they conduct experiments.

Optogenetics is being used now in mice that have already been genetically modified. This being the case, their brains can be manipulated with light by a chamber that transmits radio frequency agency. That is then transferred to a tiny coil in the implanted device from the animal’s paw, which causes it to light up.

At this time, scientist are still forced to attach wires to the head of the animal which causes an inconvenience to their experiments and prevents the mice from moving about freely. But with this new implant, scientists will soon be able to take on far more advanced studies utilizing the technology.



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