Biologists have connected the live and artificial neurons through the Internet

the world wide web have helped to create a kind of virtual brain of the living nerve cells in Italy, of artificial neurons in Switzerland and electronic interneuronal connections in the UK. For the first time, these three components were assembled into a single system. The achievement could be a breakthrough for the integration of the human nervous system with a computer.

Details are set out in the scientific article published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“News.Science” ( wrote about how scientists connect living neurons with electronic elements – memristor. In addition, researchers in different countries create artificial neurons, their features are more similar to natural.

this time the scientists brought together all three components into a single system. As stated in the press release of the study, this was done for the first time in the world.

Live nerve cells extracted from the hippocampus of the rat and placed in culture medium, were at the University of Padua in Italy. Special equipment to read them with electrical signals and via the Internet were sent to the University of Southampton in the UK.

There the signal is transmitted in an artificial contacts between neurons (synapses). An electronic synapse is a pair of memristor and microelectrode of thin films of titanium oxide. Like the Duo successfully simulates the properties of these synapses. For example, it can increase its conductivity (for this property is based our short-term memory).

Finally, information that is converted artificial synapse, was transferred to Zurich, where she is treated e neurons. They were a silicon chip based on CMOS technology.

Scientists transmitted between the three laboratories, collecting a virtual analogue of a nervous system. Translation Of “News.Science.”Illustration University of Southampton.

So going tragnarosa network, stretching between the three countries. The chain is worked in the opposite direction: from the Swiss artificial neurons through English memristor synapses to the Italian cells of rat brain. High speed Internet has allowed the system to operate in real time (would be at our disposal only a pigeon, such a focus would failed).

As the researchers note, the creation of such a “virtual laboratory” allows experts from different corners of the globe to conduct experiments together, combining their diverse expertise.

Such a deep integration between living and artificial components could be an important milestone for interfaces “brain-computer”, which is still not as perfect as we would like the owners of robotic prostheses.

By the way, before “News.Science” ( wrote about other works on the connection of living nerve cells with electronic components based on the memristor. We talked about plans to implant into the brain of artificial neurons.

Text: To.Science