Spatiotemporally coordinated activity of neural networks is crucial for brain functioning. To understand the basis of physiological information processing and pathological states, simultaneous multisite long-term recording is a prerequisite. In a multidisciplinary approach we developed a novel system of organotypically cultured rat hippocampal slices on a planar 60-microelectrode array (MEA). This biohybrid system allowed cultivation for 4 weeks. Methods known from semiconductor production were employed to fabricate and characterize the MEA. Simultaneous extracellular recording of local field potentials (LFPs) and spike activity at 60 sites under sterile conditions allowed the analysis of network activity with high spatiotemporal resolution. To our knowledge this is the first realization of hippocampus cultured organotypically on multi-microelectrode arrays for simultaneous recording and electrical stimulation. This biohybrid system promises to become a powerful tool for drug discovery and for the analysis of neural networks, of synaptic plasticity, and of pathophysiological conditions such as ischemia and epilepsy.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.