The development of flexible electronics means that it’s now possible to combine them with natural biological materials for studies in living animals (in vivo). However difficulties remain with delivering these electronics to internal sites of interest, such as the brain. Researchers have now come up with a simple technique where an electronic mesh is injected into biological materials. A flexible mesh is held within a small needle – less than one tenth of a millimetre in diameter – and when ejected by a syringe, the mesh is able to unfold (pictured) and mould itself to a surface. This procedure has been recently demonstrated in the brain of a living mouse – the mesh was injected with controlled delivery, integrating itself with brain matter and coming into contact with neurons, thus forming a neuron-nanoelectronic interface for the in vivo monitoring of brain activity. Future engineering and biomedical research will benefit from this pioneering method.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.