SERS investigations and electrical recording of neuronal networks with three-dimensional plasmonic nanoantennas
Michele Dipalo, Valeria Caprettini, Anbrea Barbaglia, Laura Lovato, Francesco De Angelis
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30, 16163, Genova
Biological systems are analysed mainly by optical, chemical or electrical methods. Normally each of these techniques provides only partial information about the environment, while combined investigations could reveal new phenomena occurring in complex systems such as in-vitro neuronal networks. Aiming at the merging of optical and electrical investigations of biological samples, we introduced three-dimensional plasmonic nanoantennas on CMOS-based electrical sensors . The overall device is then capable of enhanced Raman Analysis of cultured cells combined with electrical recording of neuronal activity. The Raman measurements show a much higher sensitivity when performed on the tip of the nanoantenna in respect to the flat substrate ; this effect is a combination of the high plasmonic field enhancement and of the tight adhesion of cells on the nanoantenna tip. Furthermore, when plasmonic opto-poration is exploited  the 3D nanoelectrodes are able to penetrate through the cell membrane thus accessing the intracellular environment.
Our latest results (unpublished) show that the technique is completely non-invasive and solves many problems related to state-of-the-art intracellular recording approaches on large neuronal networks.
This research received funding from ERC-IDEAS Program: “Neuro-Plasmonics” [Grant n. 616213].
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 G. C. Messina et al., Spatially, Temporally, and Quantitatively Controlled Delivery of Broad Range of Molecules into Selected Cells through Plasmonic Nanotubes. Advanced Materials 2015.
Francesco De Angelis, "SERS investigations and electrical recording of neuronal networks with three-dimensional plasmonic nanoantennas (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10231, Optical Sensors 2017, 1023104 (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 24, 2017; Published: 9 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2267142.5463398284001.
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