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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Nanoporous Gold Biointerfaces: Modifying Nanostructure to Control Neural Cell Coverage and Enhance Electrophysiological Recording Performance.

  • Author(s): Chapman, Christopher AR
  • Wang, Ling
  • Chen, Hao
  • Garrison, Joshua
  • Lein, Pamela J
  • Seker, Erkin
  • et al.

Nanostructured neural interface coatings have significantly enhanced recording fidelity in both implantable and in vitro devices. As such, nano-porous gold (np-Au) has shown promise as a multifunctional neural interface coating due, in part, to its ability to promote nanostructure-mediated reduction in astrocytic surface coverage while not affecting neuronal coverage. The goal of this study is to provide insight into the mechanisms by which the np-Au nanostructure drives the differential response of neurons versus astrocytes in an in vitro model. Utilizing microfabricated libraries that display varying feature sizes of np-Au, it is demonstrated that np-Au influ-ences neural cell coverage through modulating focal adhesion formation in a feature size-dependent manner. The results here show that surfaces with small (≈30 nm) features control astrocyte spreading through inhibition of focal adhesion formation, while surfaces with large (≈170 nm and greater) features control astrocyte spreading through other mechanotransduction mechanisms. This cellular response combined with lower electrical impedance of np-Au electrodes significantly enhances the fidelity and stability of electrophysiological recordings from cortical neuronglia co-cultures relative to smooth gold electrodes. Finally, by leveraging the effect of nanostructure on neuronal versus glial cell attachment, the use of laser-based nanostructure modulation is demonstrated for selectively patterning neurons with micrometer spatial resolution.

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