Author(s): Charvet G, Rousseau L, Billoint O, Gharbi S, Rostaing JP,
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Abstract Microelectrode arrays (MEAs) offer a powerful tool to both record activity and deliver electrical microstimulations to neural networks either in vitro or in vivo. Microelectronics microfabrication technologies now allow building high-density MEAs containing several hundreds of microelectrodes. However, dense arrays of 3D micro-needle electrodes, providing closer contact with the neural tissue than planar electrodes, are not achievable using conventional isotropic etching processes. Moreover, increasing the number of electrodes using conventional electronics is difficult to achieve into compact devices addressing all channels independently for simultaneous recording and stimulation. Here, we present a full modular and versatile 256-channel MEA system based on integrated electronics. First, transparent high-density arrays of 3D-shaped microelectrodes were realized by deep reactive ion etching techniques of a silicon substrate reported on glass. This approach allowed achieving high electrode aspect ratios, and different shapes of tip electrodes. Next, we developed a dedicated analog 64-channel Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) including one amplification stage and one current generator per channel, and analog output multiplexing. A full modular system, called BIOMEA, has been designed, allowing connecting different types of MEAs (64, 128, or 256 electrodes) to different numbers of ASICs for simultaneous recording and/or stimulation on all channels. Finally, this system has been validated experimentally by recording and electrically eliciting low-amplitude spontaneous rhythmic activity (both LFPs and spikes) in the developing mouse CNS. The availability of high-density MEA systems with integrated electronics will offer new possibilities for both in vitro and in vivo studies of large neural networks. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biosens Bioelectron
and referenced in Journal of Pediatric Neurology and Medicine