Neurochip A Living Brain On A Silicon Chip

The neurochip is a research tool created by scientists at the University of Calgary; it allows the placement of large networks of brain cells on a chip where the network can be analyzed. They used neurons isolated from mollusc Lymnaea, also known as the great pond snail, and cultured them for 2 to 4 hours over apertures on the chips forming so-called gigaseals. The microchip allows for high quality signal recording of individual neurons cultured directly on the chip's surface.


( Naweed Syed's Neurochip)

“This technical breakthrough means we can track subtle changes in brain activity at the level of ion channels and synaptic potentials, which are also the most suitable target sites for drug development in neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychological disorders,” says Syed, professor and head of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and advisor to the Vice President Research on Biomedical Engineering Initiative of the U of C.

As far as I know, the earliest references to the idea that living cells can be a part of electronic devices come from Philip K. Dick. Consider the swibble from his 1955 story Service Call or the Ampek F-a2 Recording System from his 1966 novel The Simulacra:

Nat Flieger reflexively poured water into a cup and fed the living protoplasm incorporated into the Ampek F-a2 recording system which he kept in his office; the Ganymedean life form did not experience pain and had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... neurologically it was primitive, but as an auditory receptor it was unexcelled...
(Read more about the Ampek F-a2 Recording System)

Feast your cells on these articles about chips and cells:

Via Neurochip technology developed by Canadian team .

And, by the way, I hope that my twitter followers are enjoying my fancy new icon. Can you name the technovelgy used in this picture?

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