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A team of researchers from Belgium received a million dollars from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation to develop a chip that will interface with the brain

The Belgian team plans to create a new chip to study the mechanisms of Parkinson's disease. The researchers explain that "we manufacture chips with a wide array of electrodes, for Parkinson's patients. Said Brayken, "This chip will be used to measure electro-fibrous changes between neurons of cells from healthy people and a wide variety of Parkinson's patients. The XNUMXD chip is the first step to developing a XNUMXD model relevant to brain function and diseases.

the brain. Illustration from PIXABAY.COM
the brain. illustration FROM PIXABAY.COM

Researchers from Belgium won $1.05 million in funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropic foundation led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The money is intended to help the members of the group develop a chip that will help investigate the mechanisms of Parkinson's disease.

The funding, as part of a $52 million program that aims to find a solution to the challenges in the neuroenergetic field of the foundation, this program is designed to bring together experimental scientists from diverse biomedical research fields, as well as biologists and computational medicine professionals to understand the basic causes of neurodegenerative disorders. The Belgian team is led by Prof. Patrick Versterken, alongside clinical expert Professor Wim Vanderberg - both from the University of Leuven, and Dr. Dries Breiken from imec.

Degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's disease and ALS, affect millions of people worldwide. The causes of most diseases are only partially understood, and there are still no effective treatments to cure, prevent or even treat most disorders.

Alzheimer's disease alone is the fifth most common cause of death among Americans over the age of 65, and the number of people who have suffered from Alzheimer's and related dementias is expected to increase threefold, from 3 million people to 5 million people in 14.

The Belgian team plans to create a new chip to study the mechanisms of Parkinson's disease. The researchers explain that "we manufacture chips with a wide array of electrodes, for Parkinson's patients. Said Brayken, "This chip will be used to measure electro-fibrous changes between neurons of cells from healthy people and a wide variety of Parkinson's patients. The XNUMXD chip is the first step to developing a XNUMXD model relevant to brain function and diseases.

Westerken said the goal is to "print" tiny parts of the human brain on a unique chip, to give researchers access to human brain tissue, both from patients and from healthy people. They will use the technology not only to monitor the progress of the disease, but also to test strategies for treating the disease. However, according to him, in the future, the chip will also be able to assist in research on Huntington's disease or any other neurodegenerative disease for that matter," Vandenberg said.

The Belgian team is one of nine project teams selected by the Foundation based on scientific excellence. According to the foundation, despite the tremendous investment and progress in understanding neurodegenerative diseases, there remains an enormous amount of very basic information about their biology that is unknown. The initiative hopes to create a new approach to dealing with neurodegenerative diseases, supporting interdisciplinary collaboration and creating shared tools, resources and platforms.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

3 תגובות

  1. A million dollars doesn't really sound like enough, it sounds like Mark wants us to see his name as a contributor to research.

  2. They must have other sources. In any case, it is not yet a startup but researchers from the academy, and this is probably the stage of the theoretical planning.

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