Neurocare Project aims to create better retinal, cortical and cochlear implantable devices through the use of improved interfacing between the electronic implants and living cells.
The NeuroCare concept involves low-cost, carbon-based materials, well-adapted for medical implants, because they :
(i) offer wide range of electronic properties (metal, semiconductor and insulator),
(ii) are bio-inert
(iii) are physically robust. Coupling between electronic devices and neurons was recently studied using “soft”, nanocrystalline diamond-based micro-electrode arrays, evaluated in laboratory animals for retinal stimulation.
These diamond implants considerably reduced gliosis, enabled stimulation currents to be raised by more than one order of magnitude before causing visible chemical alteration, and enabled long lasting operation with reduced biofouling.
Our previous experience with nanocrystalline diamond will be directly built upon through the introduction of atomic layers of graphene to diamond surfaces.