Spine-shaped gold protrusions improve the adherence and electrical coupling of neurons with the surface of micro-electronic devices

Aviad Hai, Ada Dormann, Joseph Shappir, Shlomo Yitzchaik, Carmen Bartic, Gustaaf Borghs, J. P.M. Langedijk, Micha E. Spira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interfacing neurons with micro- and nano-electronic devices has been a subject of intense study over the last decade. One of the major problems in assembling efficient neuroelectronic hybrid systems is the weak electrical coupling between the components. This is mainly attributed to the fundamental property of living cells to form and maintain an extracellular cleft between the plasma membrane and any substrate to which they adhere. This cleft shunts the current generated by propagating action potentials and thus reduces the signal-to-noise ratio. Reducing the cleft thickness, and thereby increasing the seal resistance formed between the neurons and the sensing surface, is thus a challenge and could improve the electrical coupling coefficient. Using electron microscopic analysis and field potential recordings, we examined here the use of gold micro-structures that mimic dendritic spines in their shape and dimensions to improve the adhesion and electrical coupling between neurons and micro-electronic devices. We found that neurons cultured on a gold-spine matrix, functionalized by a cysteine-terminated peptide with a number of RGD repeats, readily engulf the spines, forming tight apposition. The recorded field potentials of cultured Aplysia neurons are significantly larger using gold-spine electrodes in comparison with flat electrodes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1153-1165
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume6
Issue number41
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Bio-electronic interface
  • Cell adhesion
  • Field potential
  • Phagocytosis
  • Seal resistance

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