Among this week's Advanced Materials Early View there is a paper on using polymer electrodes to establish permanent electronic contact with living brain cells. The authors claim the quality of neuronal recording with their device is better than with conventional metal electrodes. This sounds very promising to me, both in terms of restoring function to people with nerve damage, and also with regard to sci-fi style brain-machine interfaces. As I've said before, the boundaries between electronic and biological systems are disappearing.
Interfacing Conducting Polymer Nanotubes with the Central Nervous System: Chronic Neural Recording using Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) Nanotubes
Mohammad Reza Abidian, Kip A. Ludwig, Timothy C. Marzullo, David C. Martin, Daryl R. Kipke
Published Online: Jul 29 2009 9:30AM