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Glimpsing regular lattice arrangements of primary rat hippocampal astrocytes on ultra-thin nodes of Parylene-C

Unsworth, C. P., Delivopoulos, E. and Murray, A. F. (2011) Glimpsing regular lattice arrangements of primary rat hippocampal astrocytes on ultra-thin nodes of Parylene-C. In: 17th Joint Symposium on Neural Computation, June 2011, Institute for Neural Computation, UCSD La Jolla, CA.

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In our seminal work, we reported how the biomaterial Parylene-C has the unique ability to coerce neurons and glial cells to migrate to and then grow in straight lines along serum coated rectangular parylene-C structures mounted on an oxidised silicon substrate. In this brief communication, we report how astrocyte cell bodies, from the dissociated postnatal rat hippocampus, can now to be successfully localised on an ultra-thin 13nm layer of parylene-C mounted on oxidised silicon (Figure 1). What is extremely interesting about this finding is that the astrocyte processes extended mainly in horizontal and vertical directions from the cell body thus creating a regular lattice network of individual cells. In addition, they comfortably extended a 50μm gap (equivalent to ~ 10 cell body diameters) to connect to adjacent astrocytes on neighbouring Parylene-C structures. This was found to occur repeatedly on circular geometries of 20μm diameter. In comparison to our previous work [1], we have decreased the thickness of the parylene-C structures by a factor of 10, to allow such technology to be able to be utilised for passive electrode design that requires extremely thin structures such as these. Thus, being able to culture astrocytes in regular lattice networks will pave the way for precise monitoring and stimulation of such ensembles via multi-electrode arrays, allowing a closer insight into their dynamic behaviour and their network properties.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:34036

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