Lab Canada

Neurochip development takes step forward

Calgary, AB – Researchers at the University of Calgary have achieved a major milestone in the further development of a neurochip − a microchip with the ability to monitor several functions of the brain. Orly Yadid-Pecht, PhD, and Naweed Syed, PhD, have successfully developed a novel lab-on-a-chip technology that, through an ultra-sensitive component built directly on the microchip, also enables direct imaging of activity in brain cells.

The findings are published in the August 2012 issue of the peer-reviewed IEEE Photonics Journal. The study was funded by NSERC Strategic Grant, iCORE/ AITF and the CIHR.

This neurochip is expected to advance brain-machine interfacing technologies because of its compact design and will also likely aid in the development of drug screening devices for neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. The current study used snail brain cells and researchers hope to use human brain cells in the next step. This technology will be targeted at researchers who are trying to understand how the brain develops and functions under normal and various pathological conditions.