When electrical currents pass through the membrane of a neuron, water molecules realign and this allows monitoring of electrical activity in brain cells
Water molecules to unlock secrets of brain cells - daily short science news headlines

A team of researchers has come out with a new way of monitoring the electrical signals of neurons by analyzing the movement of water molecules surrounding their membranes.

Normally, scientists measure the electrical signals of brain cells using electrodes or special molecules named fluorophores, both having disadvantages. Using water molecules as the readout is less invasive and the scientists successfully tested the technique in vitro, on mouse neurons.

“When the membrane potential changes, the water molecules will re-orient – and we can observe that.”, the scientists declared. The discovery has potential applications both in research and in practice.

Read the full story: EPFL
Scientific publication: Nature Communications