Restoration of neurological functions by neuroprosthetic technologies: future prospects and trends towards micro-, nano-, and biohybrid systems
Today applications of neural prostheses that successfully help patients to increase their activities of daily living and participate in social life again are quite simple implants that yield definite tissue response and are well recognized as foreign body. Latest developments in genetic engineering, nanotechnologies and materials sciences have paved the way to new scenarios towards highly complex systems to interface the human nervous system. Combinations of neural cells with microimplants promise stable biohybrid interfaces. Nanotechnology opens the door to macromolecular landscapes on implants that mimic the biologic topology and surface interaction of biologic cells. Computer sciences dream of technical cognitive systems that act and react due to knowledge-based conclusion mechanisms to a changing or adaptive environment. Different sciences start to interact and discuss the synergies when methods and paradigms from biology, computer sciences and engineering, neurosciences, psychology will be combined. They envision the era of “converging technologies” to completely change the understanding of science and postulate a new vision of humans. In this chapter, these research lines will be discussed on some examples as well as the societal implications and ethical questions that arise from these new opportunities.
KeywordsNeural implants cognitive technical systems converging technologies biohybrid systems microsystem neural prostheses nanotechnology
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Dabouras V (2001) Molekulare Charakterisierung der Ologodendrocyten-Zellinie OLN-93, Etablierung eines zellulären Wirkstoff-Freisetzungssystems. Diplomarbeit im Fachbereich Biologie der Technischen Universität Darmstadt, DarmstadtGoogle Scholar
- 4.Gross GW, Kowalski J (1991) Experimental and theoretical analysis of random nerve cell network dynamics. In: Antognetti P, Milutinovic V (eds) Neural networks: concepts, applications, and implementations. Prentice-Hall, Englewood City, New Jersey, pp 47–110Google Scholar
- 10.Kimura J (1989) Electrodiagnosis in diseases of nerve and muscle: principles and practice. F.A. Davis Company, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- 15.Nordmann A (2004) Converging technologies — shaping the future of European societies, European CommunitiesGoogle Scholar
- 16.Pine J, Tai Y-C, Buzsaki G, Bragin A, Carpi D (1994) The cultured neuron probe. Quarterly progress report, NIH-NINDS, Neural prosthesis program No. 4, NO1-NS-3-2393Google Scholar
- 17.Rocco MC, Bainbridge WS (eds) (2002) Converging technologies for improving human performance. NSF/DOC-Report, Arlington, Virginia, USAGoogle Scholar
- 18.Rosahl SK (2005) Predictable social and ethical consequences of cognitive technical systems in health care. Symposium on Technical Cognitive Systems in health and medicine, September 12th–13th, 2005, Nuremberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
- 23.Tatic-Lucic S, Tai Y-C, Wright JA, Pine J, Denison T (1993) Silicon-micromachined neurochips for in vitro studies of cultured neural networks. Proc Int Conf Solid State Sensors and Actuators, 943–946Google Scholar