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Organic transistors provide clearer mind map

Posted: 18 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:organic transistors? amplifiers? lithography?

George Malliaras of the Microelectronics Centre of Provence and his team have successfully engineered microscopic, organic transistors that can amplify and record signals from within the brain itself. Compared with current electrode technology used for medical applications, Malliaras claims the prototype they have developed have a significantly higher signal quality.

In epileptic patients, recordings help to scout brain regions responsible for seizure genesis.

Micro transistor can obtain high-quality amplification and brain-signal recording

Micro transistor can obtain high-quality amplification and brain-signal recording. Source: Department of Bioelectronics, Ecole des Mines.

For patients with brain tumors, recordings help to chart the brain for tumor removal. In addition, electrical recordings of neuronal activity are being used in brain-machine interfaces to help paralyzed people control prosthetic limbs.

High-quality recordings of brain activity need to be carefully amplified, but today's amplifiers are bulky and placed outside the skull, where the signal degrades. These new biocompatible, microdevices are flexible enough to go inside the brain and follow the curvilinear shape of the brain surface.

To develop the prototypes, the scientists used lithography and characterisation suite of tools developed within the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF). "To understand how the brain works, we record the activity of a large number of neurons. Transistors provide higher-quality recordings than electrodes C and, in turn, record more neuronal activity," said Malliaras. "The CNF prototyping allowed us to skip having to reinvent the wheel and saved us precious time and money."

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