High-resolution CMOS MEA platform to study neurons at subcellular, cellular, and network levels†
Studies on information processing and learning properties of neuronal networks would benefit from simultaneous and parallel access to the activity of a large fraction of all neurons in such networks. Here, we present a CMOS-based device, capable of simultaneously recording the electrical activity of over a thousand cells in in vitro neuronal networks. The device provides sufficiently high spatiotemporal resolution to enable, at the same time, access to neuronal preparations on subcellular, cellular, and network level. The key feature is a rapidly reconfigurable array of 26 400 microelectrodes arranged at low pitch (17.5 μm) within a large overall sensing area (3.85 × 2.10 mm2). An arbitrary subset of the electrodes can be simultaneously connected to 1024 low-noise readout channels as well as 32 stimulation units. Each electrode or electrode subset can be used to electrically stimulate or record the signals of virtually any neuron on the array. We demonstrate the applicability and potential of this device for various different experimental paradigms: large-scale recordings from whole networks of neurons as well as investigations of axonal properties of individual neurons.