Nanowire arrays can detect signals along individual neurons: "Opening a whole new interface between nanotechnology and neuroscience, scientists at Harvard University have used slender silicon nanowires to detect, stimulate, and inhibit nerve signals along the axons and dendrites of live mammalian neurons.
Harvard chemist Charles M. Lieber and colleagues report on this marriage of nanowires and neurons this week in the journal Science.
'We describe the first artificial synapses between nanoelectronic devices and individual mammalian neurons, and also the first linking of a solid-state device -- a nanowire transistor -- to the neuronal projections that interconnect and carry information in the brain,' says Lieber, the Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. 'These extremely local devices can detect, stimulate, and inhibit propagation of neuronal signals with a spatial resolution unmatched by existing techniques.'