Adaptive movable neural interfaces for monitoring single neurons in the brain

Jitendran Muthuswamy, Sindhu Anand, Arati Sridharan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Implantable microelectrodes that are currently used to monitor neuronal activity in the brain in vivo have serious limitations both in acute and chronic experiments. Movable microelectrodes that adapt their position in the brain to maximize the quality of neuronal recording have been suggested and tried as a potential solution to overcome the challenges with the current fxed implantable microelectrodes. While the results so far suggest that movable microelectrodes improve the quality and stability of neuronal recordings from the brain in vivo, the bulky nature of the technologies involved in making these movable microelectrodes limits the throughput (number of neurons that can be recorded from at any given time) of these implantable devices. Emerging technologies involving the use of microscale motors and electrodes promise to overcome this limitation. This review summarizes some of the most recent efforts in developing movable neural interfaces using microscale technologies that adapt their position in response to changes in the quality of the neuronal recordings. Key gaps in our understanding of the brain- electrode interface are highlighted. Emerging discoveries in these areas will lead to success in the development of a reliable and stable interface with single neurons that will impact basic neurophysiological studies and emerging cortical prosthetic technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 94
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2011


  • Implantable microtechnologies
  • MEMS
  • Microelectrode
  • Microsystems
  • Neural prostheses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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