Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Micro Transducer Array (MTA)

A device (microtransducer array MTA), based on a microelectrode array (MEA) integrated with a EPON SU-8 clustering structure comprising five clustering chambers interconnected with microchannels, for studying in-vitro neuronal network dynamics in interconnected sub-populations of cortical neurons has been developed.

The MEA consists of 60 thin-film Pt microelectrodes of 30 micrometer in diameter microfabricated on a Pyrex substrate. The MEA-chip has the overall dimensions of 14 x 14mm2 and comprises also two resistive (Pt-RTD) temperature sensors. The microelectrodes distribution is as follows: 11 microelectrodes per lateral chamber, 1 microelectrode per channel and 12 microelectrodes in the central chamber. The five clustering chambers interconnected via microchannels are 350 micrometer in height and have a diameter of 3mm. The microchannels are 800 micrometer long and have a width of 300 micrometers.

The device is mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB) providing a compatible interface with commercial pre-amplifier (MCS). The PCB has dimensions of 49mm x 49mm x 1.6mm and provides all the required electrical contacts as well as on opening (12mm in diameter) for optical observation by an inverted microscope. A glass ring is glued on the PCB in order to define a reservoir (volume of 2.5ml) for the physiological solution. The outer diameter of the reservoir is 24mm with a wall thickness of 2mm and a height of 8mm. The reservoir is closed by a semi-permeable membrane for preventing water evaporation and allowing CO2 and O2 permeability. The MTA can be integrated in an incubator chamber, which has been also developed in this project. It is fabricated in PMMA and has commercially available flexible heating elements (thermal-clear heating) fixed on the internal side of the chamber and on the top-cover.

The technological developments performed allowed to achieve highly stable stimulation/recording capabilities, adequate biocompatibility and lifetime of the MTA devices. The cluster functionality was demonstrated by comparing the recordings of both spontaneous and evoked network activities on clustered and conventional MEAs.

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Université de Neuchâtel
Rue Jaquet-Droz 1
2002 Neuchâtel
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