Recording infraslow brain signals (<0.1 Hz) with microelectrodes is severely hampered by current microelectrode materials, primarily due to limitations resulting from voltage drift and high electrode impedance. Hence, most recording systems include high-pass filters that solve saturation issues but come hand in hand with loss of physiological and pathological information. In this work, we use flexible epicortical and intracortical arrays of graphene solution-gated field-effect transistors (gSGFETs) to map cortical spreading depression in rats and demonstrate that gSGFETs are able to record, with high fidelity, infraslow signals together with signals in the typical local field potential bandwidth. The wide recording bandwidth results from the direct field-effect coupling of the active transistor, in contrast to standard passive electrodes, as well as from the electrochemical inertness of graphene. Taking advantage of such functionality, we envision broad applications of gSGFET technology for monitoring infraslow brain activity both in research and in the clinic.
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This work was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 696656 (Graphene Flagship) and no. 732032 (BrainCom). This work has made use of the Spanish ICTS Network MICRONANOFABS partially supported by MINECO and the ICTS ‘NANBIOSIS’, more specifically by the Micro-NanoTechnology Unit of the CIBER in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) at the IMB-CNM. E.M.C. acknowledges that this work has been done in the framework of the PhD in Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. E..C. thanks the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad for the Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral grant IJCI-2015–25201. T. Durduran acknowledges support from Fundació CELLEX Barcelona, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad /FEDER (PHOTODEMENTIA, DPI2015–64358-C2–1-R), the “Severo Ochoa” Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (SEV-2015–0522) and the Obra Social “la Caixa” Foundation (LlumMedBcn). M.V.S.V. acknowledges support from MINECO BFU2017-85048-R. ICN2 is supported by the Severo Ochoa programme fromSpanish MINECO (grant no. SEV-2017-0706).
Patent application (no. P201831068) filled by CSIC, ICREA, CIBER, ICN2 and IDIBAPS; inventors: A.G.B., E.M.C., X.I., R.V., M.V.S.V. and J.A.G.; concerning a graphene transistor system for measuring electrophysiological signals (pending).
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Masvidal-Codina, E., Illa, X., Dasilva, M. et al. High-resolution mapping of infraslow cortical brain activity enabled by graphene microtransistors. Nature Mater 18, 280–288 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0249-4
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