By Cameron Chai
A University of Southern California research team has used nanotechnology to create an artificial brain. The team constructed a carbon nanotube synapse circuit, which replicated a neuron, the core of the brain.
USC's Carbon Nanotube Synapse and Equipment used to create them
The team led by Professor Alice Parker and Professor Chongwu Zhou in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, deployed multiple approaches that included a circuit design and nanotechnology to solve the complicated issue of simulating brain function.
The research paper was presented at the IEEE/NIH 2011 Life Science Systems and Applications Workshop in April, in which the team explained the procedure of their experiment. Carbon nanotubes are applicable in electronic circuits, where they serve as metallic conductors or semiconductors.
The human brain constantly creates new neurons and connections, and changes across the human life span. This whole process is difficult to replicate through analog circuits, says Parker.
Jonathan Joshi, a USC Viterbi postdoctoral student and co-author of the paper, says the combined technique has led to the progress.