|A magnetic mind is a beautiful thing.|
(Image courtesy minddisorders.com.)
According to NewScientist.com, a form of injectable nanoparticles could soon be helping to make massive improvements in damaged brains, and eventually even help them confer with computers. Magnetoelectric nanoparticles (MENs) are capable of producing an electrical field when stimulated by an exterior magnetic source. If the MENs are in proximity to certain neurons, it can enable communication between them.
If the neurons are damaged by disease or other trouble, the MENs could prove to be an innovative and non-invasive way of reclaiming brain function. Using electroencephalograms to determine the areas of the brain that the MENs would affect in mice, researchers have found that the nanoparticles "lit up" an electrical field when exposed to electromagnetism.
|Wireless: the MENs can stimulate neurons without major external implements.|
(Image courtesy tahamalasi.com.)
Since the MENs can be "tuned" to target different neurons at different magnetic field frequencies, they could be specialized to release targeted medications. Sahkrat Khizroev, a scientist at Florida International University, explains, "When [the nanoparticles are] injected in the brain, we can 'see' the brain and if necessary, we can release a specific drug inside a specific neuron on demand." His team has already proven that anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs can be carried and deployed by the MENs.
Khizroev even believes that the system could be reversed, enabling the MENs to communicate with a computer. If the nanoparticles were themselves stimulated by the brain's electricity enough to create a magnetic field, the brain's various states could become input parameters for computers to target and specifically stimulate.
And for those who would worry about looking like a cyborg while these tiny nanoparticles work their robotic righteousness on the brain, no worries. The nanoparticles are injectable but otherwise non-invasive, requiring no wires, headsets, implants, or other visible attachments to the brain. You can be getting mentally helped without anyone having to know. So if you thought a shot of espresso or whiskey was good to stimulate your mind, how about a quick hit of electromagnetic nanoparticles to sharpen things up?
|Nanoparticles could be adventuring to all the different regions of your brain.|
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(Image courtesy hvcnf.com.)