Tiny sensors able to monitor dopamine levels in the brain could lead to new treatments for a variety of diseases, including Parkinson's and depression.
Though dopamine is an important neural signaling molecule, conventional brain implant sensors that can monitor the molecule degrade after just a few days. To offer a longer-term solution, the team from MIT created sensor implants the size of a neural cell, which is so small, the immune system doesn’t detect them—and therefore does not attack them.
Clusters of the micro-invasive probes (µIPs), as the team calls them, have been implanted in the brains of lab rats and studied for more than a year, with no signs of functional degradation.
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