Dependence of synchronized bursting activity on medium stirring and the perfusion rate in a cultured network of neurons

Ryoun Heo, Hyun Kim, Kyoung Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cultured network of neurons coupled with a multi-electrode-array (MEA) recording system has been a useful platform for investigating various issues in neuroscience and engineering. The neural activity supported by the system can be sensitive to environmental fluctuations, for example, in the medium’s nutrient composition, ph, and temperature, and to mechanical disturbances, yet this issue has not been the subject. Especially, a normal practice in maintaining neuronal cell cultures involves an intermittent sequence of medium exchanges, typically at a time interval of a few days, and one such sudden medium exchange is unavoidably accompanied by many unintended disturbances. Here, based on a quantitative time-series analysis of synchronized bursting events, we explicitly demonstrate that such a medium exchange can, indeed, bring a huge change in the existing neural activity. Subsequently, we develop a medium perfusion-stirring system and an ideal protocol that can be used in conjunction with a MEA recording system, providing long-term stability. Specifically, we systematically evaluate the effects of medium stirring and perfusion rates. Unexpectedly, even some vigorous mechanical agitations do not have any impacts on neural activity. On the other hand, too much replenishment (e.g., 1.8 ml/day for a 1.8-ml dish) of neurobasal medium results in an excitotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Physical Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1


  • Effect of mechanical stirring on neural activity
  • Long-term neural recording
  • Multi-electrode array
  • Perfusion system for neuronal cell culture
  • Synchronized neural burst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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