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Towards new generations of neuro-implantable devices: engineering NEUROns/carbon NANOtubes integrated functional units

Objective

The NEURONANO network proposes to integrate carbon nano-tubes (CNT) with multi-electrode array (MEA) technology to develop new generation biochips to help repair damaged central nervous system (CNS) tissues. This objective will be reached by adopting a mul ti-disciplinary approach and by crossing the boundaries among Materials Science, Nano and Micro-technology, and Neuroscience. The impact of carbon nan-otubes on multi-electrode array (MEA) technology and therefore on neuro-implant technology represents a fi rst step toward CNS nanoengineering. Our approach is to push ahead the application and fictionalization of carbon nano-tubes in the CNS by focusing on CNT chemistry, peptide and surface chemistry and two complex networks in cultures: the spinal cord (locomotor networks) and brain (hippocampus and neocortex networks). We will concentrate on the complex electrical activity of these networks once grown on implantable substrates. We are specifically interested in understanding how the components underlying electrical activity are organized when implemented with semi-conductive substrates, and how this organization changes in the presence of molecular cues or chronic stimulations. The research plan has three major aims:
i) to answer fundamental questions ab out the biophysical interactions between nano-materials and neurons
ii) to exploit carbon nano-tubes in the presentation of positive and negative cues, thus providing specific molecular environment to favour axonal regeneration and retargeting;
iii) to deve lop the characterization of novel MEA/nano-tube integrated devices, for multi-site extra-cellular stimulation and recording.

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-NMP-TI-4
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Funding Scheme

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI TRIESTE
Address
Piazzale Europa 1
Trieste
Italy

Participants (5)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Rue Michel-ange 3
Paris
SZILARDTESTFIZIKAI ES OPTIKAI KUTATOINTEZETE-MAGYAR TUDOMANYOS AKADEMIA
Hungary
Address
Konkoly Thege U. 29-33
Budapest
THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM
Israel
Address
The Hebrew University, Mt Scopus
Jerusalem
MULTI CHANNEL SYSTEMS MCS GMBH
Germany
Address
Aspenhaustrasse 21
Reutlingen
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FÉDÉRALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
Address
Ecublens
Lausanne