2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Nanowire Array Technologies for Investigation of Neural Activity

S. Saha, J. Silverberg, D. O'Malley and L. Menon
Northeastern University, US

Keywords:
nanowires, neurons

Abstract:
Nanostructures are expected to play a key role in the fundamental investigation of neuronal activity at the nanoscale level. Neurons are complex structures with feature sizes ranging from the millimeter to micron to nanoscale regimes. Single nanowires and/or nanowire arrays can therefore be effectively used to investigate the operations of living neural networks in precise detail, tracking small changes in cell structure and electrical activity in a minimally invasive fashion and at the same time with excellent spatial and temporal resolution. Such studies will significantly improve our understanding of brain functions. We are developing a nano-biodevice which will consist of an array of conducting gold nanowires integrated with microscale electrodes at one end and directly interfaced with cultured neuronal cells at the other end. The gold nanowires will be in the form of a vertically arranged gold nanowire array prepared by means of electrodeposition inside nanoporous alumina templates. Integration of the nanowires with the electrodes at the other end will be achieved by means of standard microfabrication techniques, such as e-beam lithography, sputtering, thermal evaporation, etc. Our preliminary results in the fabrication of such a device and the interaction of such a nanowire-array with cultured mouse neuroblastoma cells will be discussed.

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