Transparent and flexible low noise graphene electrodes for simultaneous electrophysiology and neuroimaging

Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 20;5:5259. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6259.


Calcium imaging is a versatile experimental approach capable of resolving single neurons with single-cell spatial resolution in the brain. Electrophysiological recordings provide high temporal, but limited spatial resolution, because of the geometrical inaccessibility of the brain. An approach that integrates the advantages of both techniques could provide new insights into functions of neural circuits. Here, we report a transparent, flexible neural electrode technology based on graphene, which enables simultaneous optical imaging and electrophysiological recording. We demonstrate that hippocampal slices can be imaged through transparent graphene electrodes by both confocal and two-photon microscopy without causing any light-induced artefacts in the electrical recordings. Graphene electrodes record high-frequency bursting activity and slow synaptic potentials that are hard to resolve by multicellular calcium imaging. This transparent electrode technology may pave the way for high spatio-temporal resolution electro-optic mapping of the dynamic neuronal activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrodes
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Female
  • Graphite / chemistry
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lasers
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman


  • Graphite
  • Calcium