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expert reaction to study looking at making an electrically conducting soft polymer in a living tissue

A study published in Science looks at in vivo fabrication of substrate-free organic bioelectronics.


Prof Tara Spires-Jones, President-elect of the British Neuroscience Association; and Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences and UK Dementia Research Institute at The University of Edinburgh, said:

“In this study by Berggren and colleagues in Sweden, scientists injected a cocktail of chemicals into the brain, heart, and tailfin of zebrafish and into the nervous systems of leeches.  Using a clever system that takes advantage of biological properties of the tissue, these injected chemicals formed a gel in the animals that was capable of conducting electricity, a property useful for studying brain function.  Long term, authors speculate that this technology will facilitate the development of interfaces between electronics and biological systems.  While this is very interesting scientifically and will no doubt spur further research, this study in zebrafish, leeches, and meats (the gel also formed in pork, beef, and chicken but not tofu) is a long way from integrating your mobile phone directly with your brain.”



‘Metabolite-induced in vivo fabrication of substrate-free organic bioelectronics’ by Xenofon Strakosas et al. was published in Science at 19:00 UK time on Thursday 23 February 2023.

DOI: 10.1126/science.adc9998



Declared interests

Prof Tara Spires-Jones: “I have no conflicts of interest with the study.”

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