Surface patterning for controlled growth of neuronal cells


Electrospun nanofiber mats belong to the often examined substrates for tissue engineering, cell growth promotion or generally as an orientation for growth of diverse cells and small organisms, such as algae. A completely different approach was recently published: A UV laser lithography method which was used to design and produce plain multi-electrode arrays could also be used for surface patterning to pave ways for growth of neuronal cells. By using the same lithography technique, bringing both ideas together was possible, so that a neural network could be grown adapted to the electrode design.

The article shows the fine tracks connecting dot-like electrodes as well as the impressive control of the neurons and guided axons which grow adherently at exactly the positions defined by the surface structure. In this way, neuronal cells can be attached to multi-electrode arrays which could assign signals to exactly defined neurons and measure their responses in such a small neuronal network.

M. Schermann, N. Shepheard, N. Frese, K. Geishendorf, H. Sudhoff, A. Gölzhäuser, U. Rückert, C. Kaltschmidt,
B. Kaltschmidt, A. Thomas
Technical feasibility study for production of tailored multielectrode arrays and patterning of arranged neuronal networks
PLoS ONE 13, e0192647 (2018)