Modeling the neuron-microtransducer junction: from extracellular to patch recording

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1993 Jan;40(1):35-41. doi: 10.1109/10.204769.


This paper is devoted to a detailed characterization of the neuron-to-microtransducer junction, based on the equivalent electric-circuit approach. As a result, recording of action potentials can be simulated with the general-purpose network-analysis program SPICE. Both noble-metal microelectrodes and insulated-gate FET's are considered. The responses of such devices are characterized as functions of several parameters, e.g., sealing impedance, density of ionic currents in the cell membrane, and spatial discontinuities of the adhesion process. It is shown that the various signal shapes reported in the literature can be reproduced and interpreted in terms of time derivatives of the action potential. In this way, the shape of any experimental signal can be interpreted on the basis of a specific sealing condition. Possible future improvements in microtransducer design, based on the proposed approach, are also suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Electric Impedance
  • Electrodes, Implanted / standards*
  • Equipment Design / standards
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Extracellular Space
  • Microelectrodes / standards*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Software