U.S. engineers develop flat microscope for brain research

HOUSTON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Engineers of Rice University, U.S. Texas State, are building a flat microscope, called FlatScope TM, and developing software that can decode and trigger neurons on the surface of the brain.

According to a news release published recently by the Rice University, the goal of the research, as part of a new governmental initiative, is to provide an alternate path for sight and sound to be delivered directly to the brain.

The project is part of a 65-million-U.S.-dollar effort announced this week by the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a high-resolution neural interface.

Among many long-term goals, the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program hopes to compensate for a person's loss of vision or hearing by delivering digital information directly to parts of the brain that can process it.

Rice University engineers have built a lab prototype of a flat microscope they are developing as part of DARPA's Neural Engineering System Design project.

The scope under development is a cousin to Rice's FlatCam, aiming at eliminating the need for bulky lenses in cameras.

The new project would make FlatCam even flatter, small enough to sit between the skull and cortex without putting additional pressure on the brain, and with enough capacity to sense and deliver signals from perhaps millions of neurons to a computer.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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