Using Multi-Electrode Array to Record from Brain Slices

Multi-electrode array electrophysiology of brain slices is a valuable technique in the study of synaptic plasticity, which is thought to underlie learning, memory, and some brain pathologies. Up- or down-regulation of synaptic transmission can shed light on cellular and network mechanisms of numerous CNS diseases, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders, seizure-ogenic disorders, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Brain slice electrophysiology using MEAs is ideal for neural studies, as arrays are easily multiplexed, allowing for multiple concurrent experiments. The variety of MEA biochips allows you to customize your electrophysiological recordings and gather data from single neurons to large groups of cells.

Recordings of Evoked Field Potentials in Different Sections of the Brain

Brain Slice Electrophysiology Using MEA

Basal synaptic transmission

  • Ortho- and antidromically evoked field potentials
  • Input-output relationships

Short-term plasticity

  • Paired-pulse facilitation
  • Paired-pulse depression
  • Post-tetanic potentiation

Long-term plasticity

  • High-frequency long-term potentiation
  • Theta-burst long-term potentiation
  • EPSP-spike (E-S) potentiation
  • Chemical long-term potentiation
  • Low-frequency long-term depression
  • Chemical long-term depression

Spontaneous activity

  • Action potential discharges by single neurons in slices (Purkinje cells, neocortical neurons, dorsal raphe neurons)
  • Network oscillations (hippocampal CA3 area, medial prefrontal cortex)

Over the past 40 years, scientists and commercial efforts have pushed to advance brain slice electrophysiology using MEAs. MEA bridges the gap between single-cell recordings and behavioral assays. Its wide application can shed light on the mechanisms underlying brain function and dysfunction at the network level that have remained largely unknown due to technical difficulties.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Brain Slice Electrophysiology

  • When would I want to use MEA to record brain slices?

    If you are interested in recording the extracellular field potential of an entire brain region, then this would be a valuable technique. The MEA electrodes provide a spatial and non-invasive way to record spontaneous activity as well as electrically-evoked activity in an ex vivo fashion.

  • What are the advantages of ex vivo MEA over in vivo patch-clamp electrophysiology?

    Brain slice electrophysiology allows one to study a variety of neuronal properties (intrinsic excitability, synaptic function/plasticity), offering a mechanistic insight into drug action. Without the caveat of the blood-brain barrier, as in an in vivo model, drugs can be directly applied. Also, the brain slice remains architecturally intact during the procedure while being able to record and evoke activity from multiple electrodes at the same time.