Brain research advances with smartphone gadget

A neural gadget operated with a smartphone can fast-track brain research on ailments such as depression, addiction, Alzheimer’s, pain, and Parkinson’s. 

This came about after a combined research team from the United States and Korea have designed a gadget that can manage neural circuits utilizing a small brain implant. This device will be operated using a smartphone.

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the University of Washington in Seattle formed the team of scientists to put together a “neural device with a replaceable drug cartridge which could allow neuroscientists to study the same brain circuits for several months without worrying about running out of drugs”.

These ‘plug-n-play’ drug cartridges were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe (thickness of a human hair), which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs (smaller than a grain of salt), for unlimited drug doses and light delivery.

Smartphones are a new generation of mobile phones with multiple features similar to those of an ordinary computer. They are expected to operate using the proposed 5G network.

Distinctive features suitable for brain research

Smartphones have the capability of detecting targeted neurons using light and drugs for long sessions. It uses robust and low-energy Bluetooth as well as Lego-like disposable medicine cartridges, 

According to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s researcher, Raza Qazi, this wireless-controlled gadget is helpful in enabling optical neuromodulation and chronic chemical features that were previously nonexistent. 

Qazi stipulates that this innovative smartphone technology is safer compared to traditional approaches utilized by neuroscientists, whereby optical fibers and stiff metal tubes are used in light and drug delivery. 

These rigid structures are harmful to head tissues as lesions are prompted. Moreover, the traditional approaches usually limit a patient’s movement as physical connections are created with heavy equipment.

The innovative smartphone technology will resolve this challenge. For instance, drug conveyance will be made wirelessly making efficiency inevitable. 

Outstanding results on brain research

The collaboration made between scientists from the US and Korea is outstanding because the neural gadget comprising of a disposable drug cartridge enables neuroscientists to scrutinize brain circuits optimally. This can be undertaken for several months without drugs getting used up. 

The combination took place in a brain implant involving mice. Moreover, limitless drugs, small LEDs, and microfluidic avenues were involved.

A simple smartphone platform was used in controlling the neural device. 

As a result, neuroscientists were enabled to prompt certain progression of drug and light distribution in any target without the presence of physical contraptions. 

This neural gadget might be beneficial in enabling investigators to craft automatic research involving animals whereby behavioral insights among others can be gained.

 This advancement may be utilized in widespread ways as smartphone giants such as Apple are becoming more creative in wearable innovations.