New Chemical Chip Controls the Body's Muscles

By controlling the delivery of the signaling substance acetylcholine to individual cells, a new chemical chip can regulate muscle function which may have stopped working for some reason. 

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers at Linköping University, in Sweden, have created a chemical chip that can control and regulate the signalling paths of cells in the human body. The University's department of Organic Electronics have combined transistors which work to transport positive and negative ions, as well as biomolecules, into complementary circuits which are similar to traditional silicon-based electronics. By controlling the delivery of the signaling substance acetylcholine to individual cells, the technology creates "the basis for an entirely new circuit technology based on ions and molecules instead of electrons and holes."

What's the Big Idea?

The advantage of creating chemical-based circuits is that the charge carrier can perform various functions along the way. Magnus Berggren, Professor of Organic Electronics and leader of the research group, said: "We can, for example, send out signals to muscle synapses where the signaling system may not work for some reason. We know our chip works with common signaling substances, for example, acetylcholine." Working with the university's experts in information coding, the group will now try to create chips that contain logic gates.

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