Local Chemical Stimulation of Neurons with the Fluidic Force Microscope (FluidFM)

This new stimulation approach, which combines FluidFM for gentle and precise positioning with a microelectrode array read-out, makes it possible to modulate the activity of individual neurons chemically and simultaneously record their induced activity across the entire neuronal network. The presented platform not only offers a more physiological alternative compared with electrical stimulation, but also provides the possibility to study the effects of the local application of neuromodulators and other drugs.

ChemPhysChem (2017). doi: 10.1002/cphc.201700780

Mathias J. Aebersold, Harald Dermutz, László Demkó, José F. Saenz Cogollo, Shiang-Chi Lin, Conrad Burchert, Moritz Schneider, Doris Ling, Csaba Forró, Hana Han, Tomaso Zambelli and János Vörös

This new stimulation approach, which combines FluidFM for gentle and precise positioning with a microelectrode array read-out, makes it possible to modulate the activity of individual neurons chemically and simultaneously record their induced activity across the entire neuronal network. The presented platform not only offers a more physiological alternative compared with electrical stimulation, but also provides the possibility to study the effects of the local application of neuromodulators and other drugs.

The researchers from Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics used the Nanosurf FlexFPM system equipped with FluidFM micropipette of 2 µm diameter aperture.

The administered glutamate concentration depends strongly on the distance between tip and sample. A reproducible height was established by gently touching the cell and subsequently moving it up over a well-defined distance using the z-piezo of the FlexAFM. The cantilevered design of the FluidFM probe compared to conventional glass pipettes was essential in obtaining a narrow gap without damaging the cell during contact.

Local chemical stimulation of neurons and precise control of stimulation dose

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