The function of cortical microcircuits: Insights from biomorphic ceramic-based microelectrode arrays

Greg A. Gerhardt, Ioan Opris, Jason J. Burmeister, Francois Pomerleau, Jorge E. Quintero, Peter Huettl, Robert E. Hampson, Sam A. Deadwyler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Technological advancements in the manufacturing, design and use of biomorphic ceramic-based multi-electrode arrays have made it possible to study the function of the brain’s microcircuits. Here we examine the literature on the fabrication, composition, design and use of biomorphic Microelectrode Arrays (MEAs) that were instrumental in understanding the function of cortical microcircuits. Recent findings highlight the importance of such MEAs for the study of cortical modularity from a broad range of perspectives such as electrophysiology, in vivo electrochemistry, optogenetics, and neuroprosthetics. In particular, biomorphic MEAs are a crucial milestone in the advancement of cortical modularity and have been used to simultaneously record neural activity from supra- and infra-granular layers along in adjacent cortical minicolumns. We have strived to develop MEAs that: (1) can be mass produced such that other laboratories can easily utilize the same recording technology, (2) are designed to be biomorphic to study multiple brain regions and neurotransmitters in various in vivo systems, (3) control online signal flow through multiple minicolumns and layers, and (4) can be used in the future in neuroprosthetics for patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Advances on theModular Organization of the Cortex
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789401799003
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015.


  • Amperometry
  • Brain
  • Cortical microcircuits
  • Electrochemical recording
  • Glutamate
  • Machine interface
  • Microelectrode arrays
  • Minicolumn
  • Optogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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