A microelectrode device to investigate the effect of electrical stimulation on neural progenitor cell growth, alignment, and differentiation
A polyimide-based, biocompatible microelectrode device has been designed, fabricated, and tested. The microelectrode device is multilayered, with pairs of microelectrodes positioned underneath microgrooves. The substrate has been designed to enable cells to align along the microgrooves and then be selectively stimulated using particular pairs of microelectrodes. This design might enable the substrates to be used in a conduit to replace damage optic nerves with selective stimulation of cells based on signals received from devices such as a retinal chip. The microelectrode devices also serve as model devices to investigate the effect of electrical stimulation in conjunction with various physical and chemical cues on the growth and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPC) in vitro. This device has been used to electrically and physically stimulate individual neural progenitor cells to investigate the effect of electrical stimulation on NPC growth, alignment, and differentiation. In the future this microelectrode device may be used to selectively record signals from cells.