Microelectrode Array Neurochip
The electrophysiological properties of compounds can be evaluated using their ability for induction of activity changes in neuronal networks grown on microelectrode array (MEA) neurochips (). Since the pioneering efforts by Thomas et al. (1972) and the first successful recording of neuronal action potentials with MEAs (Gross et al., 1977), steady progress has brought us to the point where routine monitoring of internal dynamics of mammalian neuronal networks is possible.
The growth of neuronal networks () on high-density MEA neurochips yields a hybrid test platform that allows the continuous and simultaneous monitoring of spike activity from a large number of cells for weeks or even months (). The advantage of extracellular MEA-neurochip recording is the possibility of long-term recording from multiple sites in vitro and the monitoring of signal transmission between several hundred cells.
Therefore, MEA neurochips enable a real time analysis of action potential patterns at both the single cell and the whole network level while providing optical access for the observation of network architecture and growth.