Thought-controlled nanoscale robots in a living host

Shachar Arnon, Nir Dahan, Amir Koren, Oz Radiano, Matan Ronen, Tal Yannay, Jonathan Giron, Lee Ben-Ami, Yaniv Amir, Yacov Hel-Or, Doron Friedman, Ido Bachelet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report a new type of brain-machine interface enabling a human operator to control nanometer-size robots inside a living animal by brain activity. Recorded EEG patterns are recognized online by an algorithm, which in turn controls the state of an electromagnetic field. The field induces the local heating of billions of mechanically-actuating DNA origami robots tethered to metal nanoparticles, leading to their reversible activation and subsequent exposure of a bioactive payload. As a proof of principle we demonstrate activation of DNA robots to cause a cellular effect inside the insect Blaberus discoidalis, by a cognitively straining task. This technology enables the online switching of a bioactive molecule on and off in response to a subject's cognitive state, with potential implications to therapeutic control in disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficits, which are among the most challenging conditions to diagnose and treat.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161227
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Arnon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding

The authors wish to thank all the members of the Bachelet lab for technical assistance and valuable discussions. This work was supported by grants from the Europoean Research Council Starting Grant and a Marie Curie Career Reintegration Grant to I.B.

FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme335332, 321772
European Research Council

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Thought-controlled nanoscale robots in a living host'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this