The performance of our nervous system, such as sensory perception, memory, or the control of organs, can be studied and understood if a sufficiently large number of different cell types in the involved circuits are identified and modulated in a cell type-specific manner. This requires measurement systems and methods that can measure a sufficiently large number of cells with high signal quality and modulate them by electrical or optical methods. DREPHOS combines innovative electrical and optogenetic technologies to solve these challenges for three-dimensional cellular in vitro model systems.
MCS and the partners of the consortium will develop low-noise active microelectrode arrays (CMOS-MEAs) with over 10,000 sensor points and equipped with needle-shaped electrodes. This makes it possible for the first time to record cells distant from the surface in three-dimensional cell cultures and tissue preparations. In addition to new hardware for the operation of the new chip, MCS will develop software tools that are optimized for 3D-electrodes. Finally, the CMOS-MEA based high-resolution detection method will be combined with optical microscopy and fluorescence marking techniques and will be investigated in the retina and hippocampus of transgenic mouse lines.