Field-effect transistor array for monitoring electrical activity from mammalian neurons in culture

Biosens Bioelectron. 1997;12(8):819-26. doi: 10.1016/s0956-5663(97)00047-x.


A field-effect transistor (FET) array has been fabricated and used for recording of electrical signals from neural cells. The array consists of p-channel FETs with non-metalized gates. The size of the gates of the 16 FETs are from 28 x 12 microns2 down to 10 x 4 microns2 and are arranged in a 4 x 4 matrix on 200 microns centers. For the device fabrication process we have especially focused on high sensitivity, good long-term stability in physiological conditions, and sufficient reduced signal-to-noise ratio. Special care was taken on the encapsulation technique of the device to allow surface modification based on the self-assembly technique. It can be shown that the microelectronic device surface can be modified with a synthetic peptide linked to the surface. Tailoring of the surface composition using this method allows hippocampal neurons to adhere and grow for days. More importantly, these cells develop typical electrical characteristics when cultured on this artificial surface. Using this approach neuron-FET couplings were recorded.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Static Electricity*