3 years ago

Microelectrode array-induced neuronal alignment directs neurite outgrowth: analysis using a fast Fourier transform (FFT)

Dries Braeken, Damir Kovačić, Viktorija Radotić


Many studies have shown that the topography of the substrate on which neurons are cultured can promote neuronal adhesion and guide neurite outgrowth in the same direction as the underlying topography. To investigate this effect, isotropic substrate-complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) chips were used as one example of microelectrode arrays (MEAs) for directing neurite growth of spiral ganglion neurons. Neurons were isolated from 5 to 7-day-old rat pups, cultured 1 day in vitro (DIV) and 4 DIV, and then fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde. For analysis of neurite alignment and orientation, fast Fourier transformation (FFT) was used. Results revealed that on the micro-patterned surface of a CMOS chip, neurons orient their neurites along three directional axes at 30, 90, and 150° and that neurites aligned in straight lines between adjacent pillars and mostly followed a single direction while occasionally branching perpendicularly. We conclude that the CMOS substrate guides neurites towards electrodes by means of their structured pillar organization and can produce electrical stimulation of aligned neurons as well as monitoring their neural activities once neurites are in the vicinity of electrodes. These findings are of particular interest for neural tissue engineering with the ultimate goal of developing a new generation of MEA essential for improved electrical stimulation of auditory neurons.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00249-017-1263-1

DOI: 10.1007/s00249-017-1263-1

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