Quantum dots control brain cells for the first time: First, they cultivated prostate cancer cells on a film covered with quantum dots. The cell membranes of the cancer cells were positioned next to the dots. The team then shone light onto the nanoparticles.
Energy from the light excites electrons within the quantum dot which causes the surrounding area to become negatively charged (see diagram). This caused some of the cancer cells' ion channels, which are mediated by a voltage, to open, allowing ions to rush in or out of the cells...
When Lin's team repeated their experiment with nerve cells, they found that stimulating the quantum dots caused ion channels to open and the nerve cell to fire.
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