it may look like any other thread, but this thin, flexible electrode could help radically improve our knowledge of the brain – and create far better interfaces between humans and computers.
It is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic, and is so small it can be placed next to individual neurons to ‘listen’ to them.The conductive gel pad at the end is placed up against soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer.
This kind of technology could eventually be used to send signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation larger electrodes cause that damages both the brain and the electrodes, the researchers say.
The new electrode developed is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic to block out signals from other neurons. The conductive gel pad at the end cozies up to soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer
Electrical impulses travel through the brain by movements of ions, or atoms with electric charges, and the signals move through the gel in the same way.On the other side, the carbon fiber responds to the ions by moving electrons, effectively translating the brain’s signal into the language of electronic devices.
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