The use of artificial, prepatterned neuronal networks in vitro is a promising approach for studying the development and dynamics of small neural systems in order to understand the basic functionality of neurons and later on of the brain. The present work presents a high fidelity and robust procedure for controlling neuronal growth on substrates such as silicon wafers and glass, enabling us to obtain mature and durable neural networks of individual cells at designed geometries. It offers several advantages compared to other related techniques that have been reported in recent years mainly because of its high yield and reproducibility. The procedure is based on surface chemistry that allows the formation of functional, tailormade neural architectures with a micrometer high-resolution partition, that has the ability to promote or repel cells attachment. The main achievements of this work are deemed to be the creation of a large scale neuronal network at low density down to individual cells, that develop intact typical neurites and synapses without any glia-supportive cells straight from the plating stage and with a relatively long term survival rate, up to 4 weeks. An important application of this method is its use on 3D nanopillars and 3D nanowire-device arrays, enabling not only the cell bodies, but also their neurites to be positioned directly on electrical devices and grow with registration to the recording elements underneath.
- cellular network
- chemical pattern