Body’s Sugar Transforms Cocktail Gel Into Electrodes Grown in Living Zebrafish; Experiment Could Improve Human-Machine Interfaces

Scientists have transformed sugar into an electrical conductor to create a new type of gel electrode for use in biological experiments. The research was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Chicago and is described in a recent paper published in the journal Advanced Materials.

The gel electrode was made by mixing glucose, a type of sugar, with a conductive polymer known as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) or PEDOT. When the mixture was heated, the glucose molecules underwent a chemical reaction that transformed them into a conductive material that could be used as an electrode.

“We were able to create a highly conductive gel electrode using a simple and inexpensive chemical process,” said Bozhi Tian, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study. “This could have important implications for a wide range of biological experiments, including the study of neural circuits and the development of new medical devices.”

The researchers tested the gel electrodes by growing them on living zebrafish embryos, which served as a model system for studying the development of neural circuits. They found that the electrodes were able to record neural activity in the developing fish with high sensitivity and accuracy.

“We were able to use these gel electrodes to study the development of the zebrafish nervous system in real-time, which could have important implications for understanding the development of neural circuits in other animals, including humans,” said Tian.

The development of the gel electrode is just one example of the growing field of “bioelectronics,” which involves the use of electronic devices and materials to interface with biological systems. As these technologies continue to advance, they could help enable new forms of medical diagnosis and treatment.

“We believe that this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we study and interact with biological systems,” said Tian. “We’re excited to continue working on this technology and exploring its many applications.”

Via The Impactlab