From coffee to brain waves | BNR News Radio

There is already a great deal of experimentation with the pulp left after making a cup of coffee, but researchers now believe it can also be recycled in brain research.

For some time now, people have been looking at how to keep ground coffee out of the trash. Ideas for methane filters from coffee and energy storage materials for ground coffee have already emerged. Now scientists have added another idea: a new type of electrode with which to better measure processes in the brain.

The usual microelectrodes used to measure signals in the brain are made of carbon fibres. Making these fibers is expensive and completely unfriendly to the environment. Researchers have succeeded in making a carbon coating from coffee beans. In initial experiments, they saw that electrodes dipped in this sheath were more sensitive to detecting the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Ultimately, they hope to completely replace carbon fiber with this new material. The team has no shortage of ground coffee: everyone contributes their elegant cup of coffee to the project. And who knows, your cup of coffee might also find its way into your brain wave.

Read more: Coffee waste could one day help detect brain waves

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