Korean research team has successfully developed a technique to make a new material that can measure brainwaves without making an incision into a patient’s scalp. A research team headed by Dr. Lee Hyung-jung from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on Feb. 11 that they have succeeded in developing a new material with a mesh structure capable of detecting even weak biosignals when attached to a human skull. It was done by combining a single-layer carbon nanotube and a substance that the team calls P8GB#1.
Biosignals from a brain, a heart, and muscles are usually delivered in the form of ions. It is possible to get various kinds of information by changing ion signals into electronic signals and analyzing the result using electronic devices. The research team discovered P8GB#1, a substance with a tendency to stick to single-layer carbon nanotubes, producing a highly-conductive nanomesh. The material with a minute mesh structure can detect electronic signals owing to the large contact surface.
Korea’s first state-run brain tissue repository will be established next year to assist research on neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and autism, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said Thursday. The planned “brain bank” in Daegu is expected to collect, store and distribute brain and spinal cord tissue for research.
The Korea Brain Research Institute will take charge of designing and operating the project to study neurodegenerative diseases and develop treatments more systematically and effectively, officials said. The institute will also organize an advisory committee consisting of neuro-scientists and doctors, and set up the necessary ethical codes for brain research.
A brain bank collects donated brains from patients who died while suffering from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, autism and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The brain tissue repository assists scientists performing research into those neurological or psychiatric disorders, study the causes, and also look for a cure.