Nini Pryds, Department of Energy conversion and storage, Technical University of Denmark
Ultra-sensitive Bio-Magnetometers with Macro to Nano Resolution (BIO-MAG)
Aim: To create small, biocompatible, and lightweight magnetic sensors with femtotesla sensitivity, suitable for mapping neuronal activity in living organisms at room temperature using radically new smart materials.
Every nerve cell in our body produces a tiny magnetic field when it fires. If we had magnetic sensors sensitive enough to measure such faint signals – 10 million times weaker than the Earth’s magnetic field – we could non-invasively study the activity of neurons inside our bodies and gain a deeper understanding of how they work together in networks. This could ultimately let us screen for and prevent neurodegenerative diseases or provide remote control signals for prosthetic limbs. In BIO-MAG we will develop two different and complementary magnetic sensing technologies that work at room-temperature based on new 2D materials: microscale extraordinary magnetoresistive (EMR) devices and nano-scale magneto-optical color centers. By combining these technologies in arrays of ultrasensitive magnetic field sensors we will gain unprecedented insight into neurons, neural networks, and the workings of the human mind.
Nini Pryds is receiving a grant of DKK 60 million.