SU-8 based microprobes for simultaneous neural depth recording and drug delivery in the brain

Lab Chip. 2013 Apr 7;13(7):1422-30. doi: 10.1039/c3lc41364k.


While novel influential concepts in neuroscience bring the focus to local activities generated within a few tens of cubic micrometers in the brain, we are still devoid of appropriate tools to record and manipulate pharmacologically neuronal activity at this fine scale. Here we designed, fabricated and encapsulated microprobes for simultaneous depth recording and drug delivery using exclusively the polymer SU-8 as structural material. A tetrode- and linear-like electrode patterning was combined for the first time with single and double fluidic microchannels for independent drug delivery. The device was tested experimentally using the in vivo anesthetized rat preparation. Both probe types successfully recorded detailed spatiotemporal features of local field potentials and single-cell activity at a resolution never attained before with integrated fluidic probes. Drug delivery was achieved with high spatial and temporal precision in a range from tens of nanoliters to a few microliters, as confirmed histologically. These technological advancements will foster a wide range of neural applications aimed at simultaneous monitoring of brain activity and delivery at a very precise micrometer scale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Drug Carriers / metabolism*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena*
  • Epoxy Compounds / metabolism*
  • Microtechnology / methods*
  • Molecular Probes / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Polymers / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Time Factors


  • Drug Carriers
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Molecular Probes
  • Polymers
  • SU-8 compound