Microtransducer arrays, both metal microelectrodes and silicon-based devices, are widely used as neural interfaces to measure, extracellularly, the electrophysiological activity of excitable cells. Starting from the pioneering works at the beginning of the 70's, improvements in manufacture methods, materials, and geometrical shape have been made. Nowadays, these devices are routinely used in different experimental conditions (both in vivo and in vitro), and for several applications ranging from basic research in neuroscience to more biomedical oriented applications. However, the use of these micro-devices deeply depends on the nature of the interface (coupling) between the cell membrane and the sensitive active surface of the microtransducer. Thus, many efforts have been oriented to improve coupling conditions. Particularly, in the latest years, two innovations related to the use of carbon nanotubes as interface material and to the development of micro-structures which can be engulfed by the cell membrane have been proposed. In this work, we review what can be simulated by using simple circuital models and what happens at the interface between the sensitive active surface of the microtransducer and the neuronal membrane of in vitro neurons. We finally focus our attention on these two novel technological solutions capable to improve the coupling between neuron and micro-nano transducer.
Massobrio, P., Massobrio, G., & Martinoia, S. (2016, June 21). Interfacing cultured neurons to microtransducers arrays: A review of the neuro-electronic junction models. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Frontiers Research Foundation. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00282