New nanotower electrodes developed for intracellular recording

Engineering

Intracellular recording could be enhanced through the development of new nanotower electrodes, allowing new insights into the way the brain works.

Created by the Toyohashi University of Technology, the three-dimensional microneedle-based nanoscale-tipped electrodes are longer than 100 micrometres, a needle length that exceeds conventional nanowire/nanotube-based intracellular devices.

“Three-dimensional nanoscale-tipped microneedle-electrodes have been developed that could be used for intracellular recording applications.“

This expands the range of applications of such nanodevices in intracellular recording applications, such as deep tissue penetration, as well as allowing intracellular recordings to be performed using muscle cells.

Previously, it has been difficult to achieve penetration using nanoscale-diameter needles with a high aspect ratio due to insufficient stiffness; by contrast, this new technology is able to punch through tissues and cells without issue.

Study leader Takeshi Kawano, an associate professor at the Toyohashi University of Technology, said: "This will eventually lead to realisation of multisite, depth-intracellular recordings for biological tissues, including brain slices and brain in vivo, which are beyond the capability of conventional intracellular devices."

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