Date: May 2000
Creator: Zim, Bret E.
Description: Spontaneously active monolayer neuronal networks cultured on photoetched multimicroelectrode plates (MMEPs) offer great potential for use in studying neuronal networks. However, there are many problems associated with frequent, long-term use of MMEPs. The major problems include (1) polysiloxane insulation deterioration and breakdown, (2) and loss of gold at the gold electroplated indium-tin oxide (ITO) electrodes. The objective of this investigation was to correct these major problems. Quality control measures were employed to monitor MMEP fabrication variables. The phenotypes of polysiloxane degradation were identified and classified. Factors that were found to contribute most to insulation deterioration were (1) moisture contamination during MMEP insulation, (2) loss of the quartz barrier layer from excessive exposure to basic solutions, and (3) repetitive use in culture. As a result, the insulation equipment and methods were modified to control moisture-dependent insulation deterioration, and the KOH reprocessing solution was replaced with tetramethylguanidine to prevent damage to the quartz. The problems associated with gold electroplating were solved via the addition of a pulsed-DC application of gold in a new citrate buffered electroplating solution.
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