There’s already been quite a bit of experimentation with the pulp that’s left over after making a cup of coffee, but now researchers think it can be recycled in brain research too.
For quite some time people have been wondering how to keep coffee grounds out of the trash can. Ideas have already emerged for methane filters from coffee grounds and materials for energy storage from coffee grounds. Now the scientists have added another idea: a new type of electrode with which processes in the brain can be measured even better.
The usual microelectrodes used to measure signals in the brain are made of carbon fiber. The manufacture of these fibers is expensive and not really ecological. The researchers succeeded in making a layer of carbon from coffee grounds. In early experiments, they found that electrodes dipped in this coating were even more sensitive to detecting the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Eventually, they hope to completely replace carbon fibers with this new material. The team is not short of coffee grounds: everyone judiciously contributes their cup of coffee to the project. And who knows, your cup of coffee might end up in a brainwave too.
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