A team of neuroscientists and electrical engineers from Germany and Switzerland developed a highly sensitive implant that enables to probe brain physiology with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution.
A team of neuroscientists and electrical engineers from Germany and Switzerland developed a highly sensitive implant that enables to probe brain physiology with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution. They introduce an ultra-fine needle with an integrated chip that is capable of detecting and transmitting nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data from nanoliter volumes of brain oxygen metabolism. The breakthrough design will allow entirely new applications in the life sciences.
The group of researchers led by Klaus Scheffler from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and the University of Tübingen as well as by Jens Anders from the University of Stuttgart identified a technical bypass that bridges the electrophysical limits of contemporary brain scan methods. Their development of a capillary monolithic nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) needle combines the versatility of brain imaging with the accuracy of a very localized and fast technique to analyze the specific neuronal activity of the brain. “The integrated design of a nuclear magnetic resonance detector on a single chip supremely reduces the typical electromagnetic interference of magnetic resonance signals. This enables neuroscientists to gather precise data from minuscule areas of the brain and to combine them with information from spatial and temporal data of the brain´s physiology,” explains principal investigator Klaus Scheffler. “With this method, we can now better understand specific activity and functionalities in the brain.”
Read more at Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Illustration: Tiny MRT needle in the brain tissue. CREDIT: whitehoune - stock.adobe.com, MPI f. Biological Cybernetics, University of Stuttgart. Compositing: Martin Vötsch (design-galaxie.de).