Safely detecting signs of epilepsy in the brain before it’s too late has always been a struggle for scientists and doctors alike. However, thanks to new graphene nano-technology, this will hopefully become less of a conflict.
These graphene-based neural probes are being studied by researchers in the UK and Spain, and most of the development is being done by The University of Manchester’s Neuromedicine Lab and UCL’s Institute of Neurology along with their Graphene Flagship partners. They’ve generated graphene depth neural probes, or gDNPs, and they’re both extremely small and incredibly flexible. These properties make them perfect for perceiving certain brain signals. According to Dr. Rob Wykes of the University of Manchester’s Nanoneuro team, “Application of this technology will allow researchers to investigate the role infraslow oscillations play in promoting susceptibility windows for the transition to seizure, as well as improving detection of clinically relevant electrophysiological biomarkers associated with epilepsy.”
Fortunately, this technology won’t just aid in epilepsy research. The brain is a very complex organ, and thus has been extremely under-researched due to a lack of suitable technology to do so. However, the development of the gDNPs introduces an opportunity to study not just epilepsy but other neurological diseases and injuries.