Behavior of Living Human Neural Networks on Microelectrode Array Support
R. Pizzi, F. Gelain, A. Fantasia, D. Rossetti and A. Vescovi
University of Milan, IT
Keywords: stem cells, neural networks, microelectrode arrays, learning
Researchers of the Department of Information Technologies of the University of Milano and of the Stem Cells Research Institute of the DIBIT-S. Raffaele Milano are experimenting the growth of human neural networks of stem cells on a MEA (Microelectrode Array) support. The Microelectrode arrays (MEAs) are constituted by a glass support where a set of tungsten electrodes is inserted. The distance between the electrodes is around 20 mm. The microelectrodes are connected following the architecture of classical artificial neural networks, in particular Kohonen and Hopfield networks. The neurons are stimulated following digital patterns and the output signals are analysed to evaluate the possibility of organized reaction by the natural neurons. The neurons reply selectively to different patterns and show similar reactions in front of the presentation of identical or similar patterns. These results allow to design further experiments that improve the neural networks capabilities and to test the possibility of utilizing the organized answers of the neurons in several ways.
Nanotech 2004 Conference Technical Program Abstract