Authors: Sharon Salt, Editor
Researchers from South Korea and the USA have created a device that is able to manipulate neural circuits via a small brain implant controlled by a smartphone.
The research, which has been published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, utilizes a Lego-like replaceable drug cartridge and powerful Bluetooth low-energy to target specific neurons of interest using drug and light for prolonged periods.
According to lead author Raza Qazi (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology [KAIST], Daejeon, South Korea), this new technology significantly overshadows current methods used by researchers. To deliver drugs and light, conventional methods typically involve rigid metal tubes and optical fibers. Not only does this limit movement from the subject due to bulky equipment but also, their relatively rigid structures have been reported to cause lesions in soft brain tissue over time.