Graphene-Based Artificial Retina Sensor Being Developed
Researchers at Germany’s Technical University of Munich are developing graphene sensors like the ones depicted above to serve as artificial retinas. The atom-thick sheet of linked carbon atoms is being used because it is thin, flexible, stronger than steel, transparent and electrically conductive.
TUM physicists think that all of these characteristics and graphene’s compatibility with the body make it a strong contender to serve as the interface between a retinal prosthetic that converts light to electric impulses and the optic nerve. A graphene-based sensor could help blind people with healthy nerve tissue see, they say.
If this doesn’t make you excited about science, get outta ma face.
09 August 2014
This display of ‘lit-up’ cells has hidden wiring that would put Blackpool Illuminations to shame (and it’s around 200,000-times smaller). Inside the nervous system of a young sea squirt (Ciona intestinalis), cells (blue dots) send signals to each other. One signal, called notch, tells a cell to develop into a neuron [nerve cell], while another, called delta, turns its neighbours’ notch signal ‘off’. It’s a complicated situation, calling for a mathematical model to unravel hidden details: other notch controllers send long distance signals along strips of developing cells (red), urging neurons to grow outwards in an irregular pattern (green). Mathematical modelling in biological research can be very powerful, in this case making predictions for how notch and delta work together in other tissues and organisms. Notch is heavily involved in human brain development, too, as well as helping to define the pattern of our fingers and toes in the womb.
Written by John Ankers
16 August 2014
Teaching human anatomy to student doctors and budding biomedical scientists requires the dissection of human corpses. The problem is, dead bodies are not always readily available to teaching hospitals. In recent years dissection-based teaching has declined because of the costs and ethical problems involved with acquiring cadavers. There are also concerns about exposure to formaldehyde, a toxic compound used in embalming fluids. Now 3D printing offers an alternative: highly detailed colour models of human body parts based on data from computer tomography scans of real bodies. Researchers have debuted the fabrication technique by printing a polymer hand (pictured) featuring tendons, muscles, arteries, nerves, skin and bone. Such reproductions should be particularly useful in countries where religious beliefs mean bequest programs are banned.
Written by Daniel Cossins
Image by Paul McMenamin and colleagues
Monash University, Australia
Copyright held by original authors
Research published in Anatomical Sciences Education, June 2014
This is why future is going to be amazing
3D printer and living “ink” create cartilage
Rest in peace.
For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to a new device. A 23-year-old quadriplegic is the first patient to use Neurobridge, an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb.
omg omg omg
in a world where you only really need one hand to communicate, that is massive and amazing, wow
I'm going to be choosing what I want to do in uni pretty soon, so I just wanted to know what doing biomedical engineering is like. What kind of stuff do you do, whats the workload like?
To be honest the workload can be pretty intense. It’s a lot of math and science (physics, chemistry, biology) and engineering courses. This will all vary according to your school and what sort of program you are in. My school includes biomedical within electrical engineering so my experience is probably very different from many of my followers’. The work can be difficult and a little overwhelming at times because engineering isn’t an easy major but it’s all worth it! Just try your best, start a study group with fellow engineering students, and network with faculty members.
This is why I want to be a biomedical engineer. #biomedicalengineering