[Nature Nanotechnology] Scalable electrophysiology in intact small animals with nanoscale suspended
Electrical measurements from large populations of animals would help reveal fundamental properties of the nervous system and neurological diseases. Small invertebrates are ideal for these large-scale studies; however, patch-clamp electrophysiology in microscopic animals typically requires invasive dissections and is low-throughput. To overcome these limitations, we present nano-SPEARs: suspended electrodes integrated into a scalable microfluidic device. Using this technology, we have made the first extracellular recordings of body-wall muscle electrophysiology inside an intact roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans. We can also use nano-SPEARs to record from multiple animals in parallel and even from other species, such as Hydra littoralis. Furthermore, we use nano-SPEARs to establish the first electrophysiological phenotypes for C. elegans models for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, and show a partial rescue of the Parkinson's phenotype through drug treatment. These results demonstrate that nano-SPEARs provide the core technology for microchips that enable scalable, in vivo studies of neurobiology and neurological diseases.
Daniel L. Gonzales, Krishna N. Badhiwala, Daniel G. Vercosa, Benjamin W. Avants, Zheng Liu, Weiwei Zhong & Jacob T. Robinson
Nature Nanotechnology (2017) doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.55 Received 29 October 2015 Accepted 04 March 2017 Published online 17 April 2017