, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 977-985
Date: 06 Aug 2010

High-fidelity patch-clamp recordings from neurons cultured on a polymer microchip

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We present a polymer microchip capable of monitoring neuronal activity with a fidelity never before obtained on a planar patch-clamp device. Cardio-respiratory neurons Left Pedal Dorsal 1 (LPeD1) from mollusc Lymnaea were cultured on the microchip’s polyimide surface for 2 to 4 hours. Cultured neurons formed high resistance seals (gigaseals) between the cell membrane and the surface surrounding apertures etched in the polyimide. Gigaseal formation was observed without applying external force, such as suction, on neurons. The formation of gigaseals, as well as the low access resistance and shunt capacitance values of the polymer microchip resulted in high-fidelity recordings. On-chip culture of neurons permitted, for the first time on a polymeric patch-clamp device, the recording of high fidelity physiological action potentials. Microfabrication of the hybrid poly(dimethylsiloxane)—polyimide (PDMS-PI) microchip is discussed, including a two-layer PDMS processing technique resulting in minimized shrinking variations.