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Neuronal NanoCarbon Interfacing Structures (NeuroCare)
Start date: Mar 1, 2012, End date: Feb 28, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

NeuroCare aims to create better retinal, cortical and cochlear implantable devices through the use of improved interfacing between the electronic implants and living cells. The NeuroCare concept involves low-cost, carbon-based materials, well-adapted for medical implants, because they (i) offer wide range of electronic properties (metal, semiconductor and insulator), (ii) are bio-inert and (iii) are physically robust. Coupling between electronic devices and neurons was recently studied using “soft”, nanocrystalline diamond-based micro-electrode arrays, evaluated in laboratory animals for retinal stimulation. These diamond implants considerably reduced gliosis, enabled stimulation currents to be raised by more than one order of magnitude before causing visible chemical alteration, and enabled long lasting operation with reduced biofouling. Our previous experience with nanocrystalline diamond will be directly built upon through the introduction of atomic layers of graphene to diamond surfaces.NeuroCare will specifically focus on:• Carbon-biointerface development offering reduced biofouling over the state-of-the-art, as set by the DREAMS project and improved biocompatibility• Interfacing of rigid MEAs and FETs with cells and organs to improve bidirectional communication with neurons for in vitro research and pharmacological applications• Nanoscale surface engineering and flexible macroscale implant materials for optimal contact to biological tissue• Making and testing implantable MEAs and FETs for complex multichannel neuronal communication - targeting the specificity in vivo of the implantable devices for 3 high-impact clinical applicationsNeurocare partners will test interfaceable and implantable devices via in vitro and in vivo testing.NeuroCare federates 12 partners: CEA (LIST and CLINATEC), Ecole Supérieure d'Ingénieurs en Electronique, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Ayanda Biosystems SA, University College London (London Centre for Nanotechnology), Johannes

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