Multi-electrode Array (MEA) Technology
Multi-electrode array (MEA) platforms are becoming fundamental tools in neuroscience research fields. Creative Biolabs has 10+ years of experience providing CRO services with a skilled team of scientists who will work with you to promote your projects of interest.
An MEA is a device containing multiple microelectrodes through which extracellular voltage changes from neuronal networks can be measured. MEAs for in vitro studies typically include a petri dish with dozens to hundreds of embedded electrodes to allow multisite electrophysiological recording of biopsies or isolated cell cultures. MEA technology has several advantages, including high throughput and the ability to simultaneously record the activity of hundreds of neurons for long periods, and offers a wide range of MEA electrode designs. This has led to the growing popularity of MEA techniques for studying diseases or recreating reactions to drugs in the body. The MEA technique has also been used as a test-bed for neuroprosthetic devices since it allows direct stimulation of specific brain regions and multisite recordings of spatiotemporal dynamics.
MEA Technologies for Neuroscience
Currently, the main approach to studying neuronal circuitry-connectivity, physiology, and pathology under in vitro or in vivo conditions is to use substrate-integrated microelectrode arrays. Using cellular non-invasive extracellular MEAs for in vitro recording and multipoles for in vivo recording, greatly attenuated and time-filtered electrical signals can simultaneously record and stimulate large numbers of excitable cells for days or months without causing mechanical damage to the plasma membrane of neurons. For many years, MEAs have been widely adopted by many scientists for many types of neural experiments. For example, the application of MEAs to acute brain tissue both stimulated and recorded from multiple sites on acute hippocampus slice preparations. MEAs have also been used to study different properties of neural networks, such as network formation, network dynamics, and memory functions.
Fig.1 A schematic view of the MEA chip. (Chang, 2012)
Advantages of The MEA Technique
The MEA technique is a unique and well-established tool for studying the electrophysiological properties of living brain slices or cultured neuronal networks at the macro level, linking single-cell testing with behavioral studies. It is well-suited for studying synaptic plasticity, single unit activity, rhythmic activity, and pharmacological drug testing. The advantages of the MEA technique over traditional electrophysiology are:
- Gathering large amounts of spatial information within the network through multi-site records.
- A tremendous variety of research applications involving acute brain slices, organotypic slice cultures, and dissociated cell cultures.
- Multisite stimulation and recording within one slice.
- Long-term analysis of the spatiotemporal distribution of electrical activity at the network level.
MEA experiments have many purposes, from neuropharmacological testing for toxicity to cardiac experiments to neuronal plasticity. With Creative Biolabs’ complete suite of in vitro and in vivo solutions, we can be your one-stop shop in neurological diseases drug development. Our solutions range from study design consultancy to data generation and data interpretation. Contact us to discuss your next neuroscience project.
- Chang, Y.J.; et al. A low-cost multi-electrode array system for the simultaneous acquisition of electrophysiological signal and cellular morphology. Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering. 2012, 1(2): 131-142.