A new neural probe equipped with graphene
transistors could allow physicians to improve the treatment of brain disorders like epilepsy, ALS and Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers from the Grphene Flagship have engineered a new device that can record and stimulate brain images with the help of field-effect graphene transistors. The graphene in the transistors helps boost the probe’s resolution while cutting down on interference, known as the signal to noise ratio.
“Phys.org quotes study first author Benno Blaschke (TU Munich): ‘Graphene is one of the few materials that allows recording in a transistor configuration and simultaneously complies with all other requirements for neural probes such as flexibility, biocompability and chemical stability. Although graphene is ideally suited for flexible electronics, it was a great challenge to transfer our fabrication process from rigid substrates to flexible ones. The next step is to optimize the wafer-scale fabrication process and improve device flexibility and stability.’”
The research may pave the way for more effective implants and interfaces for people with brain diseases that degrade their motor skills. The neural probes were tested on rats by placing them directly on the rodents’ brains.
“Per Phys.org: ‘Importantly, the researchers determined that the graphene-based probes are non-toxic, and did not induce any significant inflammation.’”