Parylene Neurocages for Electrical Stimulation on Silicon and Glass Substrates
We present a refined method and design for building parylene neurocages for in vitro studies of live neural networks. Parylene neurocages are biocompatible and very robust, making them ideally suited for studying the synaptic connections between individual neurons to gain insight into learning and memory. The neurocage fabrication process incorporates electrodes into the neurocages to allow for stimulation and recording of action potentials. These neurocages can be fabricated on either silicon or glass substrates. The resulting neurocages have a long term cell survival rate of ~50%, and have proven to be 99% effective in trapping neurons. Preliminary results demonstrate that current pulses passing through the electrode can stimulate action potentials in the neurons trapped in neurocages.
Additional Information© 2006 IEEE. Manuscript received April 3, 2006. This work was supported by the NIH under Award Number R01 NSO44134. We would like to thank Mr. Trevor Roper for assistance with fabrication and testing and Mr. Pat Koen for assistance with obtaining the SEMs.