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Home Industry News Nanowire technology offers potential for monitoring neurological disease

Nanowire technology offers potential for monitoring neurological disease

18th April 2017

Engineers have developed nanowires capable of recording the electrical activity of neurons in fine detail, potentially opening the door for new medical applications.

A device has been created by the University of California San Diego that consists of an array of silicon nanowires packed on a small chip patterned with nickel electrode leads that are coated with silica. These nanowires poke inside cells without damaging them, and can measure tiny electrical changes in neurons.

It is able to measure ion channel currents and changes in intracellular potential to assess the neuron's health, activity and response to drugs in a way that is nondestructive and can simultaneously measure potential changes in multiple neurons.

The researchers believe this approach could serve as a platform to screen drugs for neurological diseases, as well as making it possible to better understand how single cells communicate in large neuronal networks.

Shadi Dayeh, an electrical engineering professor at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, said: "The development of a nanoscale technology that can measure rapid and minute potential changes in neuronal cellular networks could accelerate drug development for diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems."

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