The proposed study utilizes novel electronics and microfabrication techniques to create scalable, in-vitro Microelectrode Array (MEA) technologies that conform to industry standards for multiwell plates. This research will not only enable rapid advancements in the study of network-level electrophysiology, but it will also create new opportunities for pharmaceutical research and toxicity screening. This Phase II proposal involves two significant developments for neurological research. Specifically, Aim 1 builds on the scalable simultaneous stimulation and recording Integrated Circuit (IC) developed in Phase I to produce a full electronics platform for capturing, processing and storing electrophysiological information. Among its many advantages, this electronics platform will recover signals traditionally obscured by stimulation artifacts. This captured data, combined with the ability to simultaneously manage 768 microelectrodes and automate experimental protocols, will provide new measures of single-cell and network-level neural activity.
Aim 2 will produce scalable, inexpensive, and flexible processes for fabricating multiwell MEAs that, in conjunction with the electronics developed in Aim 1, will yield a high-throughput, network-electrophysiology toolset.
This research uses novel electronic and fabrication technologies to create faster, lower-cost methods for neural research. Ultimately, this development will facilitate medical and scientific discoveries that will benefit the treatment of neural disorders such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.