The development of organic computers, which use mammalian neurons to process or store information or neurological prosthetics for overcoming disorders of the central nervous system, might sound like the background plot for Terminator 4.
However, breakthroughs achieved within the NACHIP project, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and developed by researchers in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, could contribute to the development of precisely these kinds of technology.
The project team is made up of Peter Fromherz from the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Munich , Stefano Vassanelli from the Department of Membrane and Neurophysics at the University of Padova and Nikolaus Greeff from the University of Zurich’s Institute of Physiology.

The team is investigating ways for silicone chips to communicate with rat nerve cells. While organic computers may be decades away from being a reality, in the short term the technology could help in the development of screening methods of drug testing on neurons for the pharmaceutical industry.
The team used special proteins found in the brain that “provided the link between ionic channels of the neurons and semiconductor material in a way that neural electrical signals could be passed to the silicon chip”.
Two-way communication was thus made possible. The chip’s transistors recorded signals from the neuron, while the chip’s capacitors send signals back to the neuron.
For detailed information read the full press release from IST Results at CORDIS,
read the IST Project Fact Sheet
visit the NACHIP project page.visit the NACHIP project page #2.
Finally, you may find related projects researching in this area here

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