In a new study featured in Advanced Science, MechSE Associate Professor Mattia Gazzola unveiled a cost-effective, open-source in vitro system for interfacing with neurons, offering a more accessible avenue for researchers interested in neural interactions.
The study is part of a larger project called Mind in Vitro, which explores how neurons interact with each other, not only to better understand the functions underlying complex systems like the brain, but also for the goal of eventually using in vitro neural networks for computation. To accomplish such a goal, the MiV project encompasses a highly interdisciplinary group of researchers, including those from computer science, engineering, neurobiology, physiology, and more.
"The goal of the MiV project is to ultimately use neurons for computation," explained Zhi (Andrew) Dou, a graduate student in the Gazzola lab who helped lead the project. "This would allow for a system that is dynamic and constantly evolving, unlike traditional computing systems, and is actually more energy efficient as well."