Send to

Choose Destination
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2004 Jan;51(1):158-65.

Gold-coated microelectrode array with thiol linked self-assembled monolayers for engineering neuronal cultures.

Author information

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


We report the use of a gold coating on microelectrode arrays (MEAs) to enable the use of the relatively reliable surface modification chemistry afforded by alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). The concept is simple and begins with planar MEAs, which are commercially available for neuronal cell culture and for brain slice studies. A gold film, with an intermediate adhesive layer of titanium, is deposited over the insulation of an existing MEA in a manner so as to be thin enough for transmission light microscopy as well as to avoid electrical contact to the electrodes. The alkanethiol-based linking chemistry is then applied for the desired experimental purpose. Here we show that polylysine linked to alkanethiol SAM can control the geometry of an in vitro hippocampal neuronal network grown on the MEA. Furthermore, recordings of neuronal action potentials from random and patterned networks suggest that the gold coating does not significantly alter the electrode properties. This design scheme may be useful for increasing the number of neurons located in close proximity to the electrodes. Realization of in vitro neuronal circuits on MEAs may significantly benefit basic neuroscience studies, as well as provide the insight relevant to applications such as neural prostheses or cell-based biosensors. The gold coating technique makes it possible to use the rich set of thiol-based surface modification techniques in combination with MEA recording.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Loading ...
Support Center