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J Biosci Bioeng. 2005 Aug;100(2):131-43.

Investigating neuronal activity with planar microelectrode arrays: achievements and new perspectives.

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  • 1School of Chemical Materials Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 1-1 Asahidai, Nomi-shi, Ishikawa 923-1292, Japan.


Neuronal networks underlie memory storage and information processing in the human brain, and ultimately participate in what Eccles referred to as "the creation of consciousness". Moreover, as physiological dysfunctions of neurons almost always translate into serious health issues, the study of the dynamics of neuronal networks has become a major avenue of research, as well as their response to pharmacological tampering. Planar microelectrode arrays represent a unique tool to investigate such dynamics and interferences, as they allow one to observe the activity of neuronal networks spread in both space and time. We will here review the major results obtained with microelectrode arrays and give an overview of the latest technological developments in the field, including our own efforts to develop the potential of this already powerful technology.

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