Research led by Aarhus University in Denmark has led to a microscopic organic PV technology that could be used by its developers to create light-controlled, neural stimulating scaffolds in the body.
According to the researchers, the technology consists of water-based nanofibers coated with a photovoltaic biological material that can be quickly injected into the body. Although the organic photovoltaic nanomaterial semiconductors found in the nanofibers are not in direct contact with light, they can obtain a minimal amount of light that can penetrate tissue.
“We want to develop a wireless, non-invasive, safe and very accurate method of therapy that can regenerate heart and brain cells through an external light source,” said the technology creators.
The hope is that electrical stimulation will regenerate excitable cells in the heart and brain.
“Research has shown that electrical stimulation can regenerate neurons,” the research team said. Menglin Chen, one of the authors of a paper explaining the results, added: “If we succeed, this will have a major impact on the future implementation of new methods of treatment for different brain and heart conditions.”
In the report, Visible-Light Neural Stimulation on Graphitic-Carbon Nitride / Graphene Photocatalytic Fibers, published in Applied Material & Interfaces, the research project, funded by the Danish government with DKK4.2 million ($627,000), is identified.
Separate research released last year from the United States showed how to use PV technology to kill cancer cells. This breakthrough included light-activated fluorescent colours based on PV technology that could be used for disease detection, imaging-guided surgery and customized site-specific therapy.