Bionic brain one step closer thanks to the development of an electronic long-term memory cell

Written by Alexandra Thompson

RMIT University’s development of an electronic long-term memory cell has brought scientists closer to imitating key electronic aspects of the human brain, with potential implications for disease modeling and therapy testing

Researchers at the MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF) of RMIT University (VIC, Australia) have published research in the journal Advanced Functional Materials showing their development of the world’s first electronic multi-state memory cell. The cell mirrors the brain’s ability to simultaneously process and store multiple strands of information.

Project leader Dr Sharath Sriram, co-leader of the RMIT Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, stated: “This is the closest we have come to creating a brain-like system with memory that learns and stores analog information and is quick at retrieving this stored information.”

Being able to imitate electronic aspects of the human brain, the way the brain uses memory, could help the discovery of effective treatments for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Dr Hussein Nili, lead author of the study, explained: “This new discovery is significant as it allows the multi-state cell to store and process information in the very same way that the brain does… If you could replicate a brain outside the body, it would minimise ethical issues involved in treating and experimenting on the brain which can lead to better understanding of neurological conditions.”