Menu
3D printing could lead to bionic brain chips, microscopic toy bunnies

3D printing could lead to bionic brain chips, microscopic toy bunnies

This micro-sized charred bunny could be the first step towards 3D printed bionic brain chips.

The idea of applying a regular computer chip directly to your brain is silly, so scientists at Japan's Yokohama National University have created a new material that can be shaped into complex, conductive microscopic 3D structures. What does that mean? It could potentially lead to custom brain electrodes.

While it might just look like a simple black and white bunny, the thing in the above photo is actually a microscopic 3D-printed object with features that measure just a few micrometers across. The scientists say their research could lead to the development of microelectrodes that interface directly with the brain.

These customized microelectrodes would sit in the brain to send and receive electrical signals as a way to treat disorders like epilepsy, depression, and Parkinson's disease.

The whole thing starts by using lasers to fashion a light-sensitive resin, called Resorcinol Diglycidyl Ether (RDGE), into a 3D print. 3D printing will of course allow the scientists to create any shape they want, including chips that could slip into your brain crevices.

But that's only half the equation: This new resin is also designed to take more heat, so its baked at high-temperatures until it shrinks and darkens in a process called "carbonizing," or charring. This final curing process increases the conductivity of the resin along with its surface area, making it a better electrode.

To test the effectiveness of their new resin-based creations, the scientists printed the Sanford bunny, which is a standardized shape commonly used in 3D modeling and computer graphics.

"When we got the carbon bunny structure, we were very surprised," said Shoji Maruo, who co-lead the research team, in a release. "Even with a very simple experimental structure, we could get this complicated 3-D carbon microstructure."

Now that the researchers have developed a new material that can undergo carbonizing with out warping into a glob, they can focus on creating applications for it. If you want to read more about the study, it appears in the journal Optical Methods Express.

[Eureka Alert]

Get more GeekTech: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Printerspopular scienceperipheralsfuture techSpace & scienceYokohama National University

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments