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Artifact-free and high-temporal-resolution in vivo opto-electrophysiology with microLED optoelectrodes

Abstract: The combination of in vivo extracellular recording and genetic-engineering-assisted optical stimulation is a powerful tool for the study of neuronal circuits. Precise analysis of complex neural circuits requires high-density integration of multiple cellular-size light sources and recording electrodes. However, high-density integration inevitably introduces stimulation artifact. We present minimal-stimulation-artifact (miniSTAR) μLED optoelectrodes that enable effective elimination of stimulation artifact. A multi-metal-layer structure with a shielding layer effectively suppresses capacitive coupling of stimulation signals. A heavily boron-doped silicon substrate silences the photovoltaic effect induced from LED illumination. With transient stimulation pulse shaping, we reduced stimulation artifact on miniSTAR μLED optoelectrodes to below 50 μVpp, much smaller than a typical spike detection threshold, at optical stimulation of >50 mW mm–2 irradiance. We demonstrated high-temporal resolution (<1 ms) opto-electrophysiology without any artifact-induced signal quality degradation during in vivo experiments. MiniSTAR μLED optoelectrodes will facilitate functional mapping of local circuits and discoveries in the brain.

Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 2063 (2020)

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