Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Neurophysiological Mini Laboratory (NML)

A neurophysiological mini-laboratory (NML) has been developed. It consists of a microtransducer array (MTA), temperature sensors (Pt-RTDs), heating elements, a glass reservoir and a mini-incubation chamber. The aim of this development was to provide a stand-alone, simple to use system allowing an easy mounting and dismantling of different parts.

The MTA integrates an array of sixty Pt thin-film electrodes for electrical recording and stimulation of the network activity, EPON SU-8 clustering structures for structuring the network in interconnected sub-populations and two temperature sensors. The MTA is realized on Pyrex and mounted on a printed circuit board allowing optical observation by an inverted microscope. The overall dimensions of the chip are 14mm x 14mm.

A glass reservoir (outer diameter of 24 mm, wall thickness of 2mm and a height of 8mm) which is glued on the MTA defines a culture media volume of 2.5ml. In order to limit the evaporation of the media, the reservoir is closed by a transparent semi-permeable FEP membrane (permeable to O2 and CO2). The PMMA incubation chamber has commercially available heating elements (thermal-clear heating) fixed on its internal side as well as on the top cover in order to avoid vapour condensation.

The heating elements have been selected considering the minimal power needed for keeping the internal chamber air at 37°C and compensate an external environment temperature of 25°C. The cooling is realized by thermal dissipation and consequently, the system does not function with external temperatures higher than the regulated one. On the top-cover of the incubation chamber, two in-/outlets accesses for media and gas exchanges are provided. The realized NML is easy to use and allows to measure precisely the temperature of the media with the integrated Pt-RTDs and to stabilize the culture media temperature at 37°C. The NML is moreover compatible with commercially available temperature controllers, perfusion systems and MCS pre-amplifier.

Reported by

Université de Neuchâtel
Rue Jaquet-Droz 1
2002 Neuchâtel
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