Toby Orloff wrote:
>> For a short story I'm writing I would be very grateful for a summary
> (or pointers, preferably on-line) of current research on interfacing
> living nerve impulses to semiconductor devices. What are the successes
> and failures of this to date?
>> Please respond by email.
> Thanks, Toby Orloff
>min.soft at ix.netcom.com
I am aware of only one researcher that in the past was doing something along the lines
of what your are asking for. Stan Kater and his colleagues used to culture neurons on
semiconductor chips that had the guts removed leaving only the fine connections to the
output pins. They would coat theses chips and grow neuons until they made connections
with the connectors and would monitor activity. The connections were completely random
but conceivably could be influenced by selectively coating certain areas with selective
growth factors that would encourage certain kinds of connections or directed growth. OF
course these chips could be connected to any kind of semiconductor circuitry necessary
for the required experiment. What I have said is very simplistic but has been done to
some degree and is probably being improved upon as we speak. Unfortunately, this is not
directly in my area of expertise so I can't direct you to any current information. Be
glad to try and clarify the above for you if you wish or point you in other areas. Just
drop some e-mail in my direction. By the way, Stan Kater was at Colorado State Univ.
but has moved to Utah so checking out their WWW directory might be fruitful in trying to
glean some info from him. What is your story line? Sounds interesting. Mixing fact
with fiction is something I enjoy reading in the SciFi field. Great Idea!
Univ. Colorado Health Sciences Center
jerry.clayton at UCHSC.edu