Touch-Sensitive Brain Cells Controlled by Micromagnets!


UCL researchers have developed a new technique that uses microscopic magnetic particles to remotely activate brain cells.

The pioneering technique, called "magnetomechanical stimulation," allows touch-sensitive brain glial cells, called astrocytes, to be stimulated by a magnetic device outside the body, according to the study published in the journal Advanced Science.

The ability to control brain astrocytes using a magnetic field provides researchers with a new tool to study the health and function of these cells in disease; This may be important for the future development of new and effective therapies for some common neurological disorders, such as epilepsy.

Another advantage of using a micro magnet is that they burn during an MRI scan so that we can monitor their position and target very specific parts of the brain to gain precise control of brain function.

Researchers say the new discovery could allow the development of a class of non-invasive therapies for neurological disorders.

#micromagnet #neurology #epilepsy


Study Details: Yu Y, et al. Remote and Selective Control of Astrocytes by Magnetomechanical Stimulation. Advanced Science, 2021; 2104194