Authors: Stauffer WR, Lau PM, Bi GQ, Cui XT.
Title: Rapid modulation of local neural activity by controlled drug release from polymer-coated recording microelectrodes.
Summary: We demonstrate targeted perturbation of neuronal activity with controlled release of neurochemicals from conducting polymer-coated microelectrodes. Polymer coating and chemical incorporation are achieved through individually addressable electrodeposition, a process that does not compromise the recording capabilities of the electrodes. Release is realized by the application of brief voltage pulses that electrochemically reduce the polymer and dissociate incorporated neurochemicals; whereby they can diffuse away and achieve locally effective concentrations. Inhibition of evoked synaptic currents in neurons within 200 µm of a 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione releasing electrode lasts for several seconds. Spiking activity of neurons in local circuits recorded extracellularly near the releasing electrode is silenced for a similar duration following release. This methodology is compatible with many neuromodulatory chemicals and various recording electrodes, including in vitro and implantable neural electrode arrays, thus providing an inexpensive and accessible technique capable of achieving sophisticated patterned chemical modulation of neuronal circuits.
Source: Journal of Neural Engineering. 2011 Aug;8(4):044001. Epub 2011 Jun 2.