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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

World's first bioprocessor uses 16 human brain organoids for...

• By Mark Tyson

Swiss startup claims its Neuroplatform is a first for biocomputing.

A Swiss biocomputing startup has launched an online platform that provides remote access to 16 human brain organoids. FinalSpark claims its Neuroplatform is the world's first online platform delivering access to biological neurons in vitro. Moreover, bioprocessors like this "consume a million times less power than traditional digital processors," the company says.

FinalSpark says its Neuroplatform is capable of learning and processing information, and due to its low power consumption, it could reduce the environmental impacts of computing. In a recent research paper about its developments, FinalSpakr claims that training a single LLM like GPT-3 required approximately 10GWh – about 6,000 times greater energy consumption than the average European citizen uses in a whole year. Such energy expenditure could be massively cut following the successful deployment of bioprocessors.

The operation of the Neuroplatform currently relies on an architecture that can be classified as wetware: the mixing of hardware, software, and biology. The main innovation delivered by the Neuroplatform is through the use of four Multi-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) housing the living tissue – organoids, which are 3D cell masses of brain tissue.

Each MEA holds four organoids, interfaced by eight electrodes used for both stimulation and recording. Data goes to-and-fro via digital analog converters (Intan RHS 32 controller) with a 30kHz sampling frequency and a 16-bit resolution. These key architectural design features are supported by a microfluidic life support system for the MEAs, and monitoring cameras. Last but not least, a software stack allows researchers to input data variables, and then read and interpret processor output.