Pulse 95: Graphene-Based Implants for Brain-Computer Interfaces

28 January 2019
Giulio Prisco

Brain Computer Interface

The Graphene Flagship project of the European Commission is announcing the development of a graphene-based implant that can record electrical activity in the brain at extremely low frequencies and over large areas, unlocking the wealth of information found below 0.1 Hz. A study published in Nature Materials describes the potential of this technology to enhance our understanding of the brain and pave the way for the next generation of brain-computer interfaces.

The implant, based on graphene micro-transistors, amplifies the brain's signals in situ before transmitting them to a receiver, and can support many more recording sites than a standard electrode array, without being rejected or interfering with normal brain function, and map the low frequency brain activity known to carry crucial information about different events, such as the onset and progression of epileptic seizures and strokes.

"Beyond epilepsy, this precise mapping and interaction with the brain has other exciting applications," explains researcher José Antonio Garrido. "[Our] active graphene-based transistor technology will boost the implementation of novel multiplexing strategies that can increase dramatically the number of recording sites in the brain, leading the development of a new generation of brain-computer interfaces."

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