Neurochip

neurochip1 A neurochip is a hybrid device where living neurons and a microchip with integrated micro- or nanoelectronic elements are in contact, forming a neuronal-electronic hybrid and allowing for information exchange between biological and artificial counterparts. Typically, neurochips are formed by neurons obtained by an animal’s nervous system and cultured onto the surface of a silicon microchip. Owing to the fact that neurons are electrically active excitable cells, nano- and microtransducers can be integrated into a microchip that enable the recording of electrical activity of neurons and, in the opposite direction, their stimulation. ArtificialokFor example, metal microelectrodes or oxide-insulated field-effect-transistors (EOSFET) and capacitors (EOSC) can be used to this purpose. The neurochip concept can be extended to include those implementations where microchip and animal’s nervous system are in contact ‘in vivo’, an experimental or therapeutic condition known as ‘microchip implant’ and where microchips are frequently named ‘neuronal probes’ [1].

In the RAMP project, we aim at developing an advanced generation of neurochips where silicon microchips with integrated oxide-insulated transducers are used for high-resolution and large-scale recording and stimulation of cultured neuronal networks from the rat brain.

[1]  S. Vassanelli, “Multielectrode and Multitransistor Arrays for In Vivo Recording,” in Nanotechnology and Neuroscience: Nano-electronic, Photonic and Mechanical Neuronal Interfacing, M. D. Vittorio, L. Martiradonna, and J. Assad, Eds. Springer New York, 2014, pp. 239–267.