Neuronal implants can help to replace damaged nerve cells in the body and thus fulfill an old dream of mankind. For recording neuronal activity, signal-to-noise ratios and sensitivity can be considerably enhanced if nanoscale FETs are used, allowing one to record over a larger bandwidth and to amplify input signals before read-out. As the charge carriers in graphene are confined to an atomically-thick plane, the electrical conductance of graphene is extremely sensitive to its surroundings, making graphene an ideal sensing material for label-free chemical and biological detection. It has been shown that graphene FETs (G-FET) can be used to probe a large variety of different systems.
Jülich PGI-8 has been actively cooperating with SIMIT since 2006. The fruitful cooperation is one of the important reasons leading to the master agreement between CAS-Shanghai and Jülich Research Center signed on May 17, 2010 and the establishment of the “Joint Research Laboratory on Superconductivity and Bioelectronics” on Oct. 20, 2010. Both sides focused on graphene-FET for neuronal networks, and our long-term goal is to develop a robust, high-performance recording and stimulation system on flexible substrates that integrates microfabrication and biomaterials for the improvement of quality of life and for the study of neuronal networks at multi scales.
Graphene FET arrays for the study of neuronal networks has been fabricated. Primary cortical neurons have been grown on the GMEA fabricated by SIMIT. After 14 DIV the signals of ording of action potentials from the neurons The SNR of the recordings was 8.2 ± 2.4, while the average firing rate was 2.1 Hz per electrode and the average amplitude of the detected action potential > 80μV. In the past ten years, the two partners had jointly educated 4 exchange students, and published 4 joint papers.