Neurons on Chip: On A way to unfold Neuron Circuits Mystery


As current comprises of electron similarly our thoughts comprise of neurons in the brain. The formation of these neuron circuits in brain, are still under dark. Knowledge of these neurons connectivity is the basis of how human mind process information perceived by his external senses and to help in mental disorders. A nanowire scaffold on a semiconductor chip is formed by Australian researchers, which facilitate brain cells to grow and form circuits.

Neurons in brain connect and communicate in highly ordered way but in Lab it was challenging for scientist to recreate neural circuitry as they were randomly aligned and suffered from experimental limitations. In order to create an environment where researchers direct the growth of neurons and to make them synchronized in a regular pattern, they made a nanowire scaffold made up of Indium Phosphide (InP).  InP is used as in many nanoscale applications for electronics like in fabrication of LEDs, solar cell, but never used to interface brain.

The Nanowire is arranged in a square lattice pattern, in which 50 neuronal cells from rodents are placed on each scaffold. After few days observation, neurons has produced outgrowth called neuritis and striking thing to notice was their aligned in a regular pattern as in brain.

Researchers are optimistic for scaffolds to better mimic the physical cues of the brain and will be used in future as a tool to investigate the mystery of neurons and their mechanism.