General, Research, Technology

First created artificial neurons suitable for transplantation

What do you imagine if you put the term down"Artificial neurons"? Surely something like sheathed wires that are regularly shown to us in science fiction films. However, in life everything does not look quite like that. Although, it is worth recognizing, no less futuristic and interesting. For example, an international group of scientists recently invented artificial neurons based on silicon chips, which behave just like real ones. This is the first of its kind device of its kind. Which, moreover, is suitable for transplantation to humans.

The creation of artificial neurons is a real breakthrough

Why are artificial neurons needed?

According to the University of Bath website(UK), new artificial neurons are excellent for treating chronic diseases such as heart failure, Alzheimer's disease and other problems associated with nerve fiber degeneration. It is critical that artificial neurons not only behave like biological neurons, but also practically do not need a power source (the built-in battery is “enough for life”), which makes them ideal for use in medical implants and other bioelectric devices.

Research team led byThe University of Bath, and including researchers from the universities of Bristol, Zurich and Auckland, claims that artificial neurons respond to electrical signals from the nervous system, like real ones, which many have tried to achieve for decades.

This opens up the possibility of treatment processes,which neurons do not work properly. Their pathways were interrupted, as in a spinal cord injury, or were necrotic due to other diseases. Artificial neurons can restore these connections, reproducing their healthy function and adequately responding to biological feedback for the functioning of the whole organism. - say the scientists

This is what the main part of an artificial neuron looks like

Also, experts give this example.use of technology. For example, in heart failure, neurons at the base of the brain do not respond properly to signals from the nervous system, and they, in turn, do not send the right signals to the heart, which does not work as it should. Replacing "broken" neurons with artificial ones solves this problem. We often write about such developments on the pages of our site, so sign up in order not to miss the most important thing.

See also: How do brain cells map memories?

One of the main design challenges wasnonlinear reaction of neurons. Neuron responses can be unpredictable: if the signal sent is very strong, then it is not necessary that the response will be similar. Mathematical calculations and careful modeling, taking into account these nonlinear reactions, made it possible to create artificial neurons that respond to stimuli in the way that healthy living tissues would do.

After deriving patterns on mathematicalIn the models, scientists developed silicon chips that accurately reproduced biological ion channels (one of the main components that provide the conductive function of neurons) before proving that their “silicon neurons” accurately mimic the work of real ones.

Until now, neurons were like black boxes,but we managed to open the black box and look inside. Our work is changing the paradigm because it provides doctors with a reliable method for reproducing the electrical properties of real neurons in great detail. - says project manager Alain Nogare, professor of physics at Bata University.

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The creation of such neurons suggests that nowit became possible to replace old or already dead pathways and cells with their help in order to restore various functions of the body. In particular, the new invention will be useful for patients with developing Alzheimer's disease and other similar conditions.