Nanoelectronics meets biology: From new tools to electronic therapeutics

Press release: On the frontiers of cyborg science: … published on Nanotechnology Now, Aug 10, 2014.

Abstract: Nanoscale materials enable unique opportunities at the interface between the physical and life sciences, and the interfaces between nanoelectronic devices and cells, cell networks, and tissue makes possible communication between these systems at the length scale relevant to biological function.

In this presentation, the development of nanowire nanoelectronic devices and their application as powerful tools for the recording and stimulation from the level of single cells to tissue will be discussed.

First, a brief introduction to nanowire nanoelectronic devices as well as comparisons to other tools will be presented to illuminate the unique strengths and opportunities enabled by active electronic devices.

Second, opportunities for the creation of powerful new probes capable of intracellular recording and stimulation at scales heretofore not possible with existing electrophysiology techniques will be discussed.

Third, we will take an ‘out-of-the-box’ look and consider merging nanoelectronics with cell networks in three-dimensions (3D).

We will introduce general methods and provide examples of synthetic ‘cyborg’ tissues innervated with nanoelectronic sensor elements that enabling recording and modulating activity in 3D for these engineered tissues.

In addition, we will discuss extension of these nanoelectronic scaffold concepts for the development of revolutionary probes for acute and chronic brain mapping as well as their potential as future electronic therapeutics.

The prospects for broad-ranging applications in the life sciences as the distinction between electronic and living systems is blurred in the future will be discussed.

Selected References:

  • 1. B. Tian et al., Nature Mater. 11, 986-994 (2012)
  • 2. X. Duan et al., Nano Today 8, 351-373 (2013)
  • 3. Q. Qing et al., Nature Nanotechnol. 9, 142-147 (2014)

On the frontiers of cyborg science: San Francisco, CA, posted on August 10, 2014: … //

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