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Nanoparticle Research Offers Hope of Artificial Retinas, Prostheses

In Disabled People, Health, nano on March 3, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Here’s how nano research might pave the way to the development of artificial retinas based on photosensitive nanoparticles:

The world’s first direct electrical link between nerve cells and photovoltaic nanoparticle films has been achieved by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the University of Michigan. The development opens the door to applying the unique properties of nanoparticles to a wide variety of light-stimulated nerve-signaling devices — including the possible development of a nanoparticle-based artificial retina.

Nanoparticles are artificially created bits of matter not much bigger than individual atoms. Their behavior is controlled by the same forces that shape molecules; they also exhibit the bizarre effects associated with quantum mechanics. Scientists can exploit these characteristics to custom-build new materials “from the bottom up” with characteristics such as compatibility with living cells and the ability to turn light into tiny electrical currents that can produce responses in nerves.

more at source

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