Long back in the year 2014, when a team of engineers working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison declared that they were successful in developing transparent sensors for brain imaging, complete science world took a close note of that. According to Zhenqiang Ma, the professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW-MAdison and Lynn H. Matthias they received a lot of requests after that. As he puts it, “So many research groups started asking us for these devices that we couldn’t keep up.”
Ma’s group happens to be one of the world leaders with respect to the development of revolutionary flexible electronic equipment. These are small see-through, micro-electrode arrays that can be implanted anywhere. The development is light years ahead of the present day technology. The team was successful in patenting the discovery for themselves, but also foresaw the vast potential of its upcoming applications. They say, “That little step has already resulted in an explosion of research in this field. We didn’t want to keep this technology in our lab. We wanted to share it and expand the boundaries of its applications.”
Therefore, in their recently published paper, the team described all details of this fabrication process and how they used transparent graphene neural electrode arrays for applications related to electrophysiology fluorescent microscopy, optogenetics, and optical coherence tomography. Ma further adds, “We described how to do these things so we can start working on to the next generation.” You can definitely find all the details in the journal called Nature Protocols.
So, now the technology is not only with the UW-Madison researchers but every other researcher and scientist in the world. The whole world can now together looks for ways to build and improve the technology. They are also looking forward to expanding applications of this neuroscience project for other medical problems like epilepsy, stroke, cardiac conditions, Parkinson’s diseases, and others. Ma adds, “This paper is a gateway for other groups to explore the huge potential from here. Our technology demonstrates one of the keys in vivo applications of graphene. We expect more revolutionary research will follow in this interdisciplinary field.”
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