Plastic Neurons

If neurons could watch TV, they’d watch the SODIUM CHANNEL!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Neurons are very complex cells in the brain. They’re responsible for EVERYTHING: memory, movement, feelings… But some diseases make neurons stop working, and the whole body is affected. How can we get them humming again?

Padinhare Cholakkal and team from Linköping University in Sweden have developed ARTIFICIAL neurons. 

These neurons are made out of a special plastic that can conduct electricity. This allows them to mimic SODIUM CHANNELS – the windows from which real neurons communicate. 

These cells can send information, and respond to stimuli. These neurons could control the heart rate of mice the same way REAL neurons would!

The scientists hope these cells can be used to regenerate brain tissue. This could one day treat patients with degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Sounds like neurons are the new teenagers! Full of energy, unstoppable and… TEXTING! ALL! DAY! LONG! But that’s a GOOD thing.