Eavesdropping on Nerve Cells
Jülich researchers develop microsensors based on graphene
Jülich, 5 December 2017 – Electric impulses travel continuously along the pathways of the human nervous system. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich, Technical University of Munich, and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry in the Netherlands have developed microsensors that can “eavesdrop” on the signals of nerve cells. The experts use an unconventional material for the tiny sensors: graphene. The latter comprises a layer of carbon and is just one atomic layer thick. The individual carbon atoms form a hexagonal lattice within graphene. As an active layer in the sensors, it unites three beneficial properties: it reacts very sensitively to the weak cell impulses, is biocompatible, and can be deposited on a flexible substrate.