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Subminiature multifunctional brain chip analyzes brain activity from multiple aspects

Published in Brain Activity, Brain/Neurology.

Neurotransmitters play a key role in the signal transmission process between neurons in the brain. If the concentration of neurotransmitters is higher or lower than normal, it triggers brain diseases for which neurotransmitters are injected as treatments. Therefore, the accurate measurement of neurotransmitter concentration is crucial for investigating the cause or during the treatment of brain diseases.

Previously, neurotransmitter concentrations were measured by inserting a 0.5 mm cerebrospinal fluid tube in the brain. This method could damage brain tissues, and the tube, which is attached to several brain sections, impedes the analysis of neurotransmitters in specific segments. Moreover, the correlation analysis between neurotransmitters and brain activity has been challenging as the brain signals that are the main indicators of normal brain activity could not be measured.

A research team led by Dr. Il-Joo Cho at the Brain Science Institute of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President Seok-jin Yoon) announced that they had developed a subminiature multifunctional brain chip that integrated the fluid channel for extracting cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid channel for injecting medicine, and the electrodes that measure brain signals, to overcome the limitations.