Objective: Temperature is an important factor for neural function both in normal and pathological states, nevertheless, simultaneous monitoring of local brain temperature and neuronal activity has not yet been undertaken.
Approach: In our work, we propose an implantable, calibrated multimodal biosensor that facilitates the complex investigation of thermal changes in both cortical and deep brain regions, which records multiunit activity of neuronal populations in mice. The fabricated neural probe contains four electrical recording sites and a platinum temperature sensor filament integrated on the same probe shaft within a distance of 30 µm from the closest recording site. The feasibility of the simultaneous functionality is presented in in vivo studies. The probe was tested in the thalamus of anesthetized mice while manipulating the core temperature of the animals.
Main results: We obtained multiunit and local field recordings along with measurement of local brain temperature with accuracy of 0.14 °C. Brain temperature generally followed core body temperature, but also showed superimposed fluctuations corresponding to epochs of increased local neural activity. With the application of higher currents, we increased the local temperature by several degrees without observable tissue damage between 34-39 °C.
Significance: The proposed multifunctional tool is envisioned to broaden our knowledge on the role of the thermal modulation of neuronal activity in both cortical and deeper brain regions.