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Bio-hybrid neural network links brain and artificial neurons

Published: 28 February 2020
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Research led by the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics has created a neural network where biological and artificial neurons communicated with each other over the internet.

The interdisciplinary study linked responses between different parts of the world through a hub of artificial synapses made using cutting-edge nanotechnology.

The breakthrough lays the foundations for the Internet of Neuro-electronics and neuroprosthetic technologies that could replace dysfunctional parts of the brain with AI chips.

Three key emerging technologies have worked together for the first time through the research: brain-computer interfaces, artificial neural networks and advanced memory technologies (also known as memristors).

During the study, researchers based at the University of Padova in Italy cultivated rat neurons in their laboratory which communicated bidirectionally and in real time with artificial neurons on Silicon microchips created by partners from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.

The research team, led by the Zepler Institute’s Professor Themis Prodromakis , have published the findings in the scientific journal Nature Scientific Reports .

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