Skip to main content

Neurons and modified CMOS integrated circuits interfacing

Objective

Biomedical devices increasingly rely on the use of silicon based microelectronic structures. We will develop generic technology to communicate reliably and functionally between living nuerons, and silicon (and GaAs) based molecularly modified microelectronic devices. The project focus on the multidisciplinary development of efficient nueron-electronic hybrids that allow for bi-directional electrical communication between nuerons and micro-devices as well as the construction of artificial chemical synapses between nerve terminals and postsynaptic transistors. The generic technology will serve as the base for the construction of biomedical microstructures that will functionally link nerves to robotic prosthesis and functionally link damaged neural networks. Biomedical devices increasingly rely on the use of silicon based microelectronic structures. We will develop generic technology to communicate reliably and functionally between living nuerons, and silicon (and GaAs) based molecularly modified microelectronic devices. The project focus on the multidisciplinary development of efficient nueron-electronic hybrids that allow for bi-directional electrical communication between nuerons and micro-devices as well as the construction of artificial chemical synapses between nerve terminals and postsynaptic transistors. The generic technology will serve as the base for the construction of biomedical microstructures that will functionally link nerves to robotic prosthesis and functionally link damaged neural networks.

OBJECTIVES
Biomedical devices increasingly rely on the use of silicon microstructures. To facilitate this development, novel concepts and a generic technology must be developed to enable reliable communication between living cells and silicon micro-devices. We focus the present project on the development of efficient nueron-electronic hybrids that allow for: bi-directional electrical communication between living cells and silicon micro-devices, as well as the formation of chemical synapses between nerve terminals and postsynaptic electronic devices. The expected outcome of this project is the development of a generic technology to form neuro-electronic hybrids. This generic technology will serve as the base for the construction of biomedical devices that will help to restore vision after retinal or optic nerve damage, to functionally link nerve endings in amputated limbs to robotic prosthesis and thus provide amputees with brain-controlled robotic limbs.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
A multidisciplinary team of experts in microelectronics, physics, chemistry, cell biology and neuroscience will develop generic technology to fabricate novel neuro-electronic linking devices (neuro-electronic hybrids). This will be achieved by the coordinated development of the three major components of the hybrids:
(a) Electronic: - We will design and fabricate semiconductor chips that enable bi-directional electrical communication with neurons, as well as serve as fast detectors for neurotransmitters released from nerve terminals;
(b) Surface Chemistry - Using advanced technology, we will after the surface chemistry of the silicon-based devices to allow covalent linkage of bio-compatible molecules that will serve the following functions: (I) Anchor the neural membranes to the silicon surface, to increase the mechanical stability and reduced space between the neurons membrane and the silicon surface and thus increase the electrical coupling between the components of the hybrids; (II) molecules that facilitate the transfer of the electrical signals and amplify it; (III) molecules that direct the growth of the neurons to specific addresses on the chip; and (IV) molecules that promote the differentiation of growth cones into a presynaptic termal.
c) Neurobiology - We will culture neurons on the chemically modified silicon based MOSFET devices. Then we will examine the efficiency of the electrical and chemical communication between the neuron and elecronic components of the hybrids. The results will serve as a feed back information to modify and improve the surface chemistry and the design of the electronic devices The out come of the project will be the development of generic technology which will allow the fabrication and formation of neuro-electronic hybrids that will serve to bridge functional discontinuities within the nerve system or between neurons and skeletal muscles, hart muscles, gland cell etc.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

INTERUNIVERSITAIR MICRO-ELECTRONICA CENTRUM VZW
Address
Kapeldreef 75
Leuven
Belgium

Participants (1)

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM
Israel
Address
Givat Ram Campus
91904 Jerusalem