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Electromagnetic detection of neural activity at cellular resolution

Objective

The main goal of the project is to develop a new generation of neuroscience tools for electromagnetic measurement and spectroscopy at the neuron level.Spin electronics offers nowadays the possibility to create very sensitive, micrometer-scale magnetic field detectors. Here, we propose to exploit this technological advance to create novel tools for probing neuronal magnetic fields at the cellular level. The first goal of the project will be to develop the magnetic equivalent of an electrode, a 'magnetrode', sensitive enough to detect the very small magnetic fields induced by the ionic currents flowing within electrically active neurons, and small enough to probe a limited number of cells. We will adapt magnetrodes also for local nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS); thus, they could record both electromagnetic and chemical activity of neurons. In addition, means for local electric or magnetic stimulation could be integrated in to a magnetrode. We will test magnetrodes in vitro and in vivo at various spatial scales, from brain areas down to single neurons. In parallel, based on the measurements with magnetrodes, we will augment existing computational models and develop new ones to characterize the electromagnetic fields emitted by neurons and neuron assemblies. We will use these models to bridge from the activity of single neurons to macroscopic non-invasive measurements such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG).This project shall pave the way towards "magnetophysiology", which enables investigating electric activity of neurons without disturbing the ionic flow and without physical contact to the cell. We will create new experimental and modeling tools for magnetic measurements and stimulation at neuron scale. The resulting techniques will be applicable in neurosciences, brain–computer interfacing and possibly in the treatment of certain brain diseases.The consortium is composed of 5 teams from 4 EU countries.
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Coordinator Contact

Myriam Pannetier-Lecoeur (Dr)

Coordinator

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

Address

Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15

France

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 510 478

Administrative Contact

Jean-Christophe Coste (Mr.)

Participants (4)

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ERNST STRUNGMANN INSTITUTE GGMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 172 862

AALTO KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 144 920

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 475 260

INESC MICROSISTEMAS E NANOTECNOLGIAS-INSTITUTO DE ENGENHARIA DE SISTEMAS DE COMPUTADORES PARA OS MICROSISTEMAS E AS NANOTECNOLOGIAS

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 396 480

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 600730

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2013

  • End date

    31 December 2015

Funded under:

FP7-ICT

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 222 049

  • EU contribution

    € 1 700 000

Coordinated by:

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

France