A low-noise, modular, and versatile analog front-end intended for processing in vitro neuronal signals detected by microelectrode arrays

Giulia Regalia, Emilia Biffi, Giancarlo Ferrigno, Alessandra Pedrocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The collection of good quality extracellular neuronal spikes from neuronal cultures coupled to Microelectrode Arrays (MEAs) is a binding requirement to gather reliable data. Due to physical constraints, low power requirement, or the need of customizability, commercial recording platforms are not fully adequate for the development of experimental setups integrating MEA technology with other equipment needed to perform experiments under climate controlled conditions, like environmental chambers or cell culture incubators. To address this issue, we developed a custom MEA interfacing system featuring low noise, low power, and the capability to be readily integrated inside an incubator-like environment. Two stages, a preamplifier and a filter amplifier, were designed, implemented on printed circuit boards, and tested. The system is characterized by a low input-referred noise (70 dB), and signal-to-noise ratio values of neuronal recordings comparable to those obtained with the benchmark commercial MEA system. In addition, the system was successfully integrated with an environmental MEA chamber, without harming cell cultures during experiments and without being damaged by the high humidity level. The devised system is of practical value in the development of in vitro platforms to study temporally extended neuronal network dynamics by means of MEAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172396
JournalComputational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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