Constraining the connectivity of neuronal networks cultured on microelectrode arrays with microfluidic techniques: a step towards neuron-based functional chips.

Abstract

In vitro culture of small neuronal networks with pre-defined topological features is particularly desirable when the electrical activity of such assemblies can be monitored for long periods of time. Indeed, it is hoped that such networks, with pre-determined connectivity, will provide unique insights into the structure/function relationship of biological neural networks and their properties of self-organization. However, the experimental techniques that have been developed so far for that purpose have either failed to provide very long-term pattern definition and retention, or they have not shown potential for integration into more complex microfluidic devices. To address this problem, three-dimensional microfluidic systems in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) were fabricated and used in conjunction with both custom-made and commercially available planar microelectrode arrays (pMEAs). Various types of primary neuronal cell cultures were established inside these systems. Extracellular electrical signals were successfully recorded from all types of cells placed inside the patterns, and this bioelectrical activity was present for several weeks. The advantage of this approach is that it can be further integrated with microfluidic devices and pMEAs to yield, for example, complex neuron-based biosensors or chips for pharmacological screening.

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@article{Morin2006ConstrainingTC, title={Constraining the connectivity of neuronal networks cultured on microelectrode arrays with microfluidic techniques: a step towards neuron-based functional chips.}, author={Fabrice O. Morin and Naoki Nishimura and Laurent Griscom and Bruno Lepioufle and Hiroyuki Fujita and Yuzuru Takamura and Eiichi Tamiya}, journal={Biosensors & bioelectronics}, year={2006}, volume={21 7}, pages={1093-100} }