The current that flows between our cells is called bioelectricity and it is important for us to think and talk and walk.
There are evidences that records and alters the bioelectric fields of cells and tissue plays a vital role in wound healing. It also fights diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Researchers of USC Viterbi School of Engineering have created a molecular device. This device can record and manipulate its surrounding bioelectric field.
This is a triangle shaped device and is made of two small, connected molecules. This is smaller than a virus and similar to the diameter of a DNA strand.
Scientists have said that this is a new material for “reading and writing” the electric field without damaging nearby cells and tissue. Each of the two molecules are linked by a short chain of carbon atoms and has its own separate function. One molecule act as a “sensor”. It can also act as detector that measures the local electric field when triggered by red light. The second molecule acts as “the modifier”. It generates additional electrons when exposed to blue light. All function is independently controlled by different wavelengths of light.
It is not for using in humans. This device will sit partially inside and outside the cell’s membrane for in vitro experiments.
The reporter molecule can insert into tissue. It has the possibility to measure electric fields non-invasively. This also provides ultra-fast, 3D, high-resolution imaging of neural networks. This has an important role for other researchers testing the effects of new drugs. The new tool will do it without damaging healthy cells or tissue.
The modifier molecule can alter the nearby electric field of cells. It can also damage a single point. It allows future researchers to determine the cascading effects throughout like an entire network of brain cells.
The new organic device can eliminate “crosstalk.” Scientists need to separate it by a long alkyl chain as this chain does not affect the photo physical abilities of each.