Microrobot technology: Externally connecting in vivo neural networks

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Research teams led by Professor Hongsoo Choi and Professor Yongseok Oh from DGIST joined the probe squad led by Dr. Jongcheol Rah from Korea Brain Research Institute to make the exertion for delivering a microrobot to a people constituent of a hippocampus successful an successful vitro environment, connecting neural networks, and measuring neural signals. The probe findings are expected to lend to neural web probe and the verification and investigation of compartment therapy products.

The probe squad led by Professor Hongsoo Choi from DGIST (President Kuk Yang) successful the Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering has developed a microrobot susceptible of forming neural networks and sectioning hippocampal tissues successful an successful vitro situation successful an ex vivo[1] state. Through the associated probe with the squad led by Dr. Jongcheol Rah from Korea Brain Research Institute, the anticipation of analyzing structurally and functionally connected neural networks utilizing a microrobot successful an successful vitro situation during compartment transportation and transplantation has been confirmed. The probe findings are expected to beryllium applied successful assorted fields, including neural networks, compartment therapy products, and regenerative medicine.

Cell therapy products and compartment transportation exertion person been developed to regenerate nervus cells damaged by diseases; successful caller years, assorted technologies involving microrobots susceptible of precise, minimally invasive[2] compartment transportation has been gaining recognition. Previous studies connected compartment transportation and neural web connections utilizing microrobots lone verified structural and functional connections of cells astatine the compartment level.

The probe squad led by Professor Choi utilized microrobots successful which neural web transportation tin beryllium practically applied. This exertion utilized microrobots to alteration the investigation of neural networks functionally connected successful an ex vivo situation and compartment delivery; the encephalon insubstantial of a laboratory rodent was utilized to behaviour the experiment.

The probe squad archetypal attached superparamagnetic[3] robust oxide nanoparticles to the main nervus cells of the hippocampus of the laboratory rodent to fabricate the Mag-Neurobot successful a three-dimensional spherical form. Magnetic nanoparticles were attached to the extracurricular of the robot truthful that the robot could determination to a desired determination by reacting to outer magnetic fields. Safety was besides verified via a biocompatibility test, successful which the magnetism of the robot did not impact the maturation of nervus cells.

The probe squad placed the microrobot successful the hippocampus insubstantial conception of the rodent done magnetic tract control. Through immunofluorescence staining[4], the squad observed that the cells successful the microrobot and the cells successful the hippocampus insubstantial conception were structurally connected done neurites.

Furthermore, a microelectrode array (MEA) was utilized to stimulate the nervus cells successful the microrobot to find whether the nervus cells delivered by the microrobot exhibits emblematic electrophysiological characteristics. It was verified that electrical signals are typically propagated done the nervus cells wrong the hippocampus insubstantial section. Accordingly, the probe squad confirmed that the nervus cells delivered by the microrobot could functionally signifier cells and neural networks wrong the hippocampus insubstantial conception of a laboratory mouse. In addition, the squad demonstrated that the microrobot could execute the roles of delivering nervus cells and forming artificial neural networks.

Dr. Choi of DGIST said "We person proven that a microrobot and nervus tissues of a rodent encephalon tin beryllium functionally connected done an electrophysiological analysis" and added, "the exertion developed successful this survey is expected to beryllium utilized for verifying a precisely targeted attraction successful neurological upset and compartment therapy fields."

This survey was supported by NSCN, NRF, and the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the probe findings person been published online successful Advanced Materials (JSR IF 32.086, apical 2.1% successful the field), 1 of the astir highly rated journals successful the tract of materials, connected February 15th (Wed.).


[1] Ex vivo: Removing organs oregon tissues extracurricular the assemblage for attraction purposes and past returning them to the archetypal position

[2] Minimally invasive: Minimizing the incision country to trim the carnal load of a patient

[3] Superparamagnetism: Spins are aligned successful the aforesaid direction, but the spins are not aligned wide adjacent erstwhile a magnetic tract is applied.

[4] Immunofluorescence staining: Visualization exertion utilized for determining the determination wrong a compartment of circumstantial proteins utilizing the antibody of a circumstantial molecule, often a protein, successful cells oregon tissues.

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