The study of electronic properties of materials at the nanoscale has unveiled physical laws and generated materials such as nanoparticles, quantum dots, nanodiamonds, nanoelectrodes, and nanoprobes. Independently, large-scale public and private neuroscience programs have been launched to develop methods to measure and manipulate neural circuits in living animals and humans. Here, we review an upcoming field, NanoNeuro, defined as the intersection of nanoscience and neuroscience, that aims to develop nanoscale methods to record and stimulate neuronal activity. Because of their unique physical properties, nanomaterials have intrinsic advantages as biosensors and actuators, and they may be applicable to humans without the need for genetic modifications. Thus, nanoscience could make major methodological contributions to the future of neuroscience and, more generally, to biomedical sciences.
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This article originated from group discussions at the DIPC/Columbia University ‘NanoNeuro2020’ meeting, which took place online on 24–25 June 2020. We thank all participants for their input and the Kavli Foundation for funding. R.Y. is supported by NEI (R01EY011787), NINDS (R01NS110422; R34NS116740), NIMH (R01MH115900), NSF (CRCNS 1822550), and the Vannevar Bush Faculty Award (ONR N000142012828). A.G.E. acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (PID2019-109905GA-C22) and from E. Jaurlaritza (IT1164-19, KK-2019/00101 and KK-2021/00082).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Methods thanks Marcel Bruchez, Gabriel Silva, and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Nina Vogt was the primary editor on this article and managed its editorial process and peer review in collaboration with the rest of the editorial team.
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Garcia-Etxarri, A., Yuste, R. Time for NanoNeuro. Nat Methods 18, 1287–1293 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01270-9