Implantable Aptamer–Field-Effect Transistor Neuroprobes for In Vivo Neurotransmitter Monitoring


Zhao, C. ; Cheung, K. M. ; Huang, I. - W. ; Yang, H. ; Nakatsuka, N. ; Liu, W. ; Cao, Y. ; Man, T. ; Weiss, P. S. ; Monbouquette, H. G. ; et al. Implantable Aptamer–Field-Effect Transistor Neuroprobes for In Vivo Neurotransmitter Monitoring. Science Advances 2021, 7 eabj7422.


While tools for monitoring in vivo electrophysiology have been extensively developed, neurochemical recording technologies remain limited. Nevertheless, chemical communication via neurotransmitters plays central roles in brain information processing. We developed implantable aptamer–field-effect transistor (FET) neuroprobes for monitoring neurotransmitters. Neuroprobes were fabricated using high-throughput microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technologies, where 150 probes with shanks of either 150- or 50-μm widths and thicknesses were fabricated on 4-inch Si wafers. Nanoscale FETs with ultrathin (~3 to 4 nm) In2O3 semiconductor films were prepared using sol-gel processing. The In2O3 surfaces were coupled with synthetic oligonucleotide receptors (aptamers) to recognize and to detect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Aptamer-FET neuroprobes enabled femtomolar serotonin detection limits in brain tissue with minimal biofouling. Stimulated serotonin release was detected in vivo. This study opens opportunities for integrated neural activity recordings at high spatiotemporal resolution by combining these aptamer-FET sensors with other types of Si-based implantable probes to advance our understanding of brain function.

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Last updated on 11/24/2021