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Euro for neuro: La Caixa Foundation funds Patricia Monteiro’s bioelectronic neuronal interface

08.12.2021 23:55

Branco Weiss Alumna Patricia Monteiro’s team at the Institute for Research in Life Sciences and Health (ICVS) at the University of Minho is part of a consortium that received funding from La Caixa Foundation. The grant in the amount of 1 million euros is part of the foundation‘s Caixa Health Research competition 2021.

The winning project, called “NeuralGRAB (Graphene aptasensor bioelectronics )” aims to develop an innovative bioelectronic neuronal interface capable of measuring communication between brain cells with unprecedented resolution. In order to detect molecules in the brain, the researchers use graphene, the world’s thinnest material, combined with biorecognition elements used for detecting molecules in extraterrestrial space. This innovative neuronal interface will allow the recording of brain activity on a large scale to clarify the neurobiological basis of diseases that affect the brain and subsequently allow the development of new means of diagnosis and therapy. The application of NeuralGRAB is focused on mental health but can also be used in neuromorphic computing, bringing the functioning of the computer closer to that of the human brain, and developing new models of brain-machine communication.

Earlierer this year, Dr. Monteiro has been invited together with 19 other young scientists as a member of the Young Scientists Seminar (Seminário de Jovens Cientistas) to the Academia das Ciéncias de Lisboa, the Portuguese National Academy of Sciences. The Young Scientists Seminar seeks to maintain the link between the Academy and younger members of the scientific community. Defined by its transdisciplinary character, the seminar seeks to produce instruments that can be used by scientific policy decision makers and promote the sharing of knowledge with society in general.

Read the news on the ICVS’s website (in Portuguese, translation by Google)