In the near term, the biochip could speed scientific research, which could accelerate drug development for muscle and nerve disorders like epilepsy and help create more productive crop varieties.
Researchers will be able to perform hundreds of experiments per day using this automated technology instead of doing one experiment per day.
The device works by measuring the concentration of ions — tiny charged particles — as they enter and exit cells. The chip can record these concentrations in up to 16 living cells temporarily sealed within fluid-filled pores in the microchip. With four electrodes per cell, the chip delivers 64 simultaneous, continuous sources of data.