The delivery of electrical stimuli is crucial to shape the electrophysiological activity of neuronal populations and to appreciate the response of the different brain circuits involved. In the present work, we used dissociated cortical and hippocampal networks coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) to investigate the features of their evoked response when a low-frequency (0.2 Hz) electrical stimulation protocol is delivered. In particular, cortical and hippocampal neurons were topologically organized to recreate interconnected sub-populations with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mask, which guaranteed the segregation of the cell bodies and the connections among the sub-regions through microchannels. We found that cortical assemblies were more reactive than hippocampal ones. Despite both configurations exhibiting a fast (<35 ms) response, this did not uniformly distribute over the MEA in the hippocampal networks. Moreover, the propagation of the stimuli-evoked activity within the networks showed a late (35-500 ms) response only in the cortical assemblies. The achieved results suggest the importance of the neuronal target when electrical stimulation experiments are performed. Not all neuronal types display the same response, and in light of transferring stimulation protocols to in vivo applications, it becomes fundamental to design realistic in vitro brain-on-a-chip devices to investigate the dynamical properties of complex neuronal circuits.

Stimulus-Evoked Activity Modulation of In Vitro Engineered Cortical and Hippocampal Networks

Callegari, Francesca;Brofiga, Martina;Poggio, Fabio;Massobrio, Paolo
2022-01-01

Abstract

The delivery of electrical stimuli is crucial to shape the electrophysiological activity of neuronal populations and to appreciate the response of the different brain circuits involved. In the present work, we used dissociated cortical and hippocampal networks coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) to investigate the features of their evoked response when a low-frequency (0.2 Hz) electrical stimulation protocol is delivered. In particular, cortical and hippocampal neurons were topologically organized to recreate interconnected sub-populations with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mask, which guaranteed the segregation of the cell bodies and the connections among the sub-regions through microchannels. We found that cortical assemblies were more reactive than hippocampal ones. Despite both configurations exhibiting a fast (<35 ms) response, this did not uniformly distribute over the MEA in the hippocampal networks. Moreover, the propagation of the stimuli-evoked activity within the networks showed a late (35-500 ms) response only in the cortical assemblies. The achieved results suggest the importance of the neuronal target when electrical stimulation experiments are performed. Not all neuronal types display the same response, and in light of transferring stimulation protocols to in vivo applications, it becomes fundamental to design realistic in vitro brain-on-a-chip devices to investigate the dynamical properties of complex neuronal circuits.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1104134
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