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New organic artificial sensory nerves - Article in Science

New organic artificial sensory nerves - Article in Science

News 01 June 2018 1319 hits Anna May Masnou

Sensory (or afferent) nerves bring sensations of touch, pain, or temperature variation to the central nervous system and brain. Using the tools and materials of organic electronics, researchers led by chemist Zhenan Bao at Stanford University, and with the participation of Raphael Pfattner, now ICMAB researcher, but at that time Postdoctoral Fellow at Bao Research Group, have constructed an artificial sensory nerve that works in much the same way. 

nerve artificial organic

Biomimetic hierarchical structures can detect movement of an object, combine simultaneous pressure inputs, and distinguish braille characters. The combination allows for the sensing of multiple pressure inputs, which can be converted into a sensor signal and used to drive the motion of a cockroach leg in an oscillatory pattern.

nervesRaphael Pfattner, now ICMAB researcher at the NANOMOL group, and at that time at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Stanford University is a co-author of this article, publised in Science. Raphael did his PhD at ICMAB (2011) under the supervision of Concepció Rovira and Marta Mas-Torrent on organic electronics. 

 Figure: Discoid cockroach with an artificial afferent nerve on its back.

More information:

  • Article: A bioinspired flexible organic artificial afferent nerve. Yeongin Kim, Alex Chortos, Wentao Xu, Yuxin Liu, Jin Young Oh, Donghee Son, Jiheong Kang, Amir M. Foudeh, Chenxin Zhu, Yeongjun Lee, Simiao Niu, Jia Liu, Raphael Pfattner, Zhenan Bao, and Tae-Woo Lee. Science. Volume 360(6392):998-1003. June 1, 2018. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0098
  • News reporter for Science: New artificial nerves could transform prosthetics; by Robert F. Service
  • Video on Science

 

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