The Newsroom    Published Friday, May. 19, 2006, 10:35 AM
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This Is Your Brain on Nanotubes

MIT’s Technology Review (Internet / Print) 05/19/06 http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16895&ch=nanotech Carbon nanotubes -- incredibly strong, electrically conductive, hollow molecules of carbon about a nanometer in diameter -- have for more than a decade been prized by materials scientists. Now University of Texas researchers have demonstrated that mats of single-walled carbon nanotubes can communicate electrical signals to neurons, suggesting that the tubes could be used as an electrical interface between neural prosthetics -- devices used to replace damaged or missing nerves -- and the body. The Texas researchers grew rat neurons on thick mats of carbon nanotubes seeded on flexible plastic sheets. Instead of treating the mats like a foreign surface, neurons take well to the nanotubes, says Todd Pappas, director of sensory and molecular neuroengineering at the University of Texas Medical Branch, who led the research.



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