May 28, 2022

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The first artificial nerve cells - neurons - were created in the laboratory

The first artificial nerve cells – neurons – were created in the laboratory

The world’s first artificial was created in the laboratories of Oxford University neurons or neurons. They are made of biocompatible materials, that is, those that can be implanted into a living organism without fear.

It is made of hydrogel thread 0.7mm in length. However, scientists say they can produce them up to 2.5 centimeters long if necessary. The researchers also built a bundle of several neurons to mimic the nerve.

Artificial neurons are stimulated with light. When it hits it, it activates proteins that pump hydrogen ions (ie protons) into the cell. This causes a positive electrical charge to appear in it, just like in a living neuron.

When you reach the end of such an artificial cell, the electrical charge moves the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules, which can move from one drop of water to another. Scientists hope that artificial neurons will be able to communicate in this way.

Neurons in living organisms communicate precisely with the help of chemical compounds (neurotransmitters or neurotransmitters). There are several dozen types, depending on the type and location of neurons. ATP normally serves as an energy store in cells, but is also a neurotransmitter in the gut’s nervous system.

However, in normal neurons, the molecules that elicited the electrical impulses are reused. In artificial neurons, such a mechanism has not yet been established – otherwise these neurons would stop working after a few hours, when they have used up their available ATP stores. There is still a long way to go to artificial neurons that can transmit signals to each other.

However, it was opened. You can start dreaming more boldly about biological implants that will act like nerves in living things. It will greatly facilitate the recovery of paralyzed persons from spinal cord injuries. According to the researchers, an artificial retina can also be created.

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