The ByAxon project has prepared a glossary of terms in the shape of memory cards, in order to facilitate the understanding of the keywords that define our project. 

Click on the slider to see the cards of the collection.

Active by-pass

In the context of neural interfaces, an active by-pass is an implant that can guide the signals from the spinal cord in both directions by surpassing the lesion site. Ideally, it would permit to enable the motor functions as well as to regain the sensory functions. 

Anisotropic magnetoresistance

Is a type of magnetoresistance that is displayed by all metallic magnetic materials. It is highly anisotropic with respect to the angle between the magnetization orientation and the electrical current direction.

Biocompatible

Attribute that makes a material or substance able to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose, not causing any toxic effects while inducing the desired biological response when implanted. For biocompatibility assessment, in vitro cell culture tests, animal testing and clinical trials represent the subsequent steps to fulfil.

ByAxon

Is a research project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme. Its goal is to develop an active bypass based on nanotechnology aiming to neural reconnection directly at the spinal cord level.

Electrophysiology

Is a broad set of technologies developed to study the electric activity in cells and tissues. In Neuroscience, electrophysiology involves the measurements of action potential, synaptic activity or single cell electrical properties in neuron, both in vitro and in vivo. 

Functional electrical stimulation

Is a therapeutic technique that uses low energy electrical pulses to impaired muscles in order to artificially generate muscle contraction and restore motor functions. This technique is being used as a short-term therapy for the restoration of exercise, breathing, walking, and bowel and bladder functioning, among others. 

Horizon 2020

Is the biggest european research and innovation programme, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014-2020).
It promises breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Interdisciplinary

Involving two or more disciplines.
For example, ByAxon involves the disciplines of Physics, Biology, and Medicine to achieve the goals of the project, that is, develop a prototype of magnetic sensor based on nanotechnology for the neural reconnection.

LSMO magnetic sensor

LSMO (lanthanum strontium manganese oxide) is a material that can be used in high-sensitivity magnetic sensors. It can be engineered in a form of thin films and presents large magnetoresistance (see magnetoresistive material) to detect very small magnetic fields, for example, those induced by neurons.

Magnetoresistive material

Is a material whose electrical resistance varies upon the application of an external magnetic field. These materials are interesting for building magnetic sensors.
In our project ByAxon, anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) is used to read the signal of spinal cord neurons.

Nanostructured implant

It is an implantable device engineered by nanoscale bio-electronic interface for electrical recording of action potentials. The rationale for using nanostructured implants is that to obtain devices that are minimally invasive and can perform large-scale neural activity mapping/stimulation with high spatial resolution.

Nanotechnology

Is the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale with the purpose of enhancing its natural properties.
In the ByAxon project, Nanotechnology encompasses the understanding of the fields Physics, Biology and Medicine in order to develop a new generation of sensors for neural reconnection.

Neural interface

Is an artificial system that serves on the direct communication between the brain and an external electrical device. Brain-machine and brain-computer interfaces are examples of neural interfaces. The interfaces can be invasive (motor neuroprosthetics, artificial vision systems) or non-invasive (electroencephalography helmets).

Spinal cord injury

Is an insult to the spinal cord that causes damage into sensory and motor functions that can be temporary or permanent, below the level of the lesion. Research into new therapies for this type of lesions has improved the quality of life of these patients since the 20th century.