The use of conductive pili of the bacteria Geobacter sulfurreducens have allowed repeatedly to reduce the operating voltage of the memristor to 50 millivolts. A small voltage allows the use of such devices as artificial neurons, connected directly to the living nerve circuits that will help to create effective interface. Article published in the journal Nature Communications.
The brain of animals, though inferior to computer arithmetic, it is much more efficient in solving ordinary household problems, such as pattern recognition. Artificial neural networks, in fact, programmatically mimic the work of living neural networks. If the processor is not emulated the work of the neural network, and he worked on its principle on the physical level, this would significantly increase performance.
As the basis for potential neuromorphic processor scientists consider the memristor device, the conductivity of which short-term increases under the action of electric pulses, making them functionally similar to neurons. In addition, they can be used to create neural interfaces. The problem is that the operating voltage of the memristor, the action of which they begin to increase the conductivity lies in the range of 0.2-2 volts, and a typical bio-current is only about 50 millivolts, and therefore cannot connect to the nerves directly without converters.
The tiande Fu (Fu Tianda) from the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) and her colleagues figured out how to reduce the operating voltage of the memristor. Usually, they increase the conductivity conforms to the following process: at the anode metal is oxidized to the positive ion moves to the cathode, and the cathode is restored to neutral.