Veronica Varzi, University of Turin
Late News: Diamond-Based Multielectrode Sensors for In Vitro Detection of Excitable Cells Activity
Written by Arun Kumar
Neuronal signaling plays a fundamental role in carrying out functional brain activity. Dysregulated signaling might lead to the origin of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. To uncover the neuronal signaling transmitted by the cells, a multifunctional sensor that can detect both the electrical and chemical signals is still required in the field. But, current technology is limited by the use of two separate devices for neuronal signal detection – microelectrode arrays for electrical potentiometric analysis and carbon fiber electrodes for chemical signal amperometric analysis. Diamond-based multielectrode sensors with micropatterned graphite conductive channels are used by Veronica Varzi from the University of Turin to evaluate the in vitro neuronal activity consisting of both electric action potential signals and chemical neurotransmitter signals. Microfabrication of the biosensors is performed by MeV He ion-beam-based lithography on a single-crystal monocrystalline diamond sample with 16 independent graphite electrodes embedded in the matrix.
In vitro experiments with cultured hippocampal neurons on sensor matrix demonstrate that the electric-potentiometric measurement can be recorded. Exocytic chemical secretions were amperometrically recorded from the sensor matrix cultured with mouse dopaminergic neurons. The diamond-based biosensor can help decipher signaling differences between normal and diseased brain functioning with its multiparametric chemical and electric signal detection.