AI analysts have created an extraordinary material they believe can integrate artificial intelligence with the human brain. The news is considered a significant step towards merging AI electronics with the brain to create a race of half-human, half-robot cyborgs.
Integrating electronics to humans has until now been the main barrier to traditional materials such as gold, silicon and steel.
Name your favourite biomolecule, and you can in principle make a PEDOT film that has whatever biofunctional group you might be interested in
Dr David Martin
These all scar the human body when implanted into us.
Not only do scars damage the body, but they also interrupt electrical signals flowing between computers, muscle and brains.
However, University of Delaware researchers have now overcome this issue after playing around with polymers.
Dr David Martin, who led the study, said “We got the idea for this project because we were trying to interface rigid organic microelectrodes with the brain, but brains are made out of organic, salty, live materials.
“It wasn’t working well, so we thought there must be a better way.
“We started looking at organic electronic materials like conjugated polymers that were being used in non-biological devices.
“We found a chemically stable example that was sold commercially as an antistatic coating for electronic displays.”
The polymer PEDOT has the perfect amount of properties required to incorporate electronic hardware with tissue without scarring.
And at the same time, the manmade material also significantly improves the performance of medical AI implants.
PEDOT is also now known to be able to transform standard house bricks into energy storage units.
This is because of its unerring ability to penetrate porous materials and conduct electricity.
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The scientists used a PEDOT film with an antibody to stimulates blood vessel growth after injury.
They hope this might detect the early stages of tumour growth.
PEDOT polymers could also be used to help sense or treat brain or nervous system disorders.
Versions could, in theory, attach to peptides, antibodies and DNA.
Dr Martin said: ”Name your favourite biomolecule, and you can in principle make a PEDOT film that has whatever biofunctional group you might be interested in.
Several research institutions and private companies have joined the race to connect brains to computers.
SpaceX and Tesla head Elon Musk’s Neuralink is thought to be the closest to achieving a viable product.
Neuralink is expected to reveal more details about its brain chips later this month.
Their stated goal is to provide “full-bandwidth data streaming” to the brain through a USB-C cable.
Musk has made numerous claims about Neuralink’s technology.
He said earlier this year it “could extend range of hearing beyond normal frequencies” and even allow people to stream music directly to their brains.
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