neuron-silicon interface?

Kevin Montgomery kevin at neuron.arc.nasa.gov
Thu Oct 29 16:53:45 EST 1992

In <Bww3F3.zE at news.cso.uiuc.edu> Jeremy Payne  writes:
>FRICHARD at biomed.med.yale.edu (Frank Richardson) writes:
>>Hello all,
>>Just curious, does anyone know of research into interfacing neurons and silicon
>>chips? I'm very serious. I am interested in exploring possibilites for neurons
>>communicating with electronics and vic-versa.
>there's some work being done with thin Si wafers impregnated with closely spaced
>laser ablated pores, I think out at Stanford, but of course I can't remember who
>or exactly where off the top of my head.  In a nutshell, they section I _think_
>the peroneal nerve in a rat then butt the two stumps up against opposite sides
>of their wafer and let the fibers regrow through the pores.  At the seminar I
>heard a year or so ago they claimed something reasonably impressive like 25 %
>of the proximal fibers finding their appropriate targets.  What's really cool of
>course is that you can embed electrodes in the chip at the sites of the pores...
>Sorry I can't be specific about who, what, when & where, but if it helps you
>the guy giving the seminar (whose name of course I also don't recall) does work
>on silastic cochlear implants and is pretty well known.
>Jeremy Payne

I remember reading an abstract on some work being done at the VA research
hospital near Stanford where they were doing something similar.  The plan was
to decrease recovery time in nerve grafts after amputations by electronically
remapping the fibers on both sides of the sever.  Interesting stuff, but I
don't have the reference anymore...  (sorry)


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