Subcellular-resolution electrophysiology with high-density microelectrode arrays (HD-MEAs)
High-density microelectrode arrays (HD-MEAs) are devices that can be used in biomedical and basic in-vitro research and that provide biochemical and extracellular electrophysiological information about biological systems at high spatial and temporal resolution. They feature a very high spatial density (>5000 electrodes per mm2) of comparably small electrodes (diameters of 5-7 µm and a center-to-center pitch of <15 µm).

By using HD-MEAs it is possible to record comprehensive data sets across scales (subcellular resolution through single neurons to large networks) in various preparations, ranging from organotypic and acute slices to cultures of dissociated neurons and stem-cell-derived neurons. It is also possible to detect low-amplitude signals of action potentials traveling along thin axons (~100 nm diameter). Moreover, the stimulation features of CMOS microtransducer arrays and integrated microsystems offer the capability to bi-directionally interact, also in closed loop and real time, with potentially every single neuron in a given neuronal network. Applications include research in neural diseases and pharmacology.


Andreas Hierlemann got his college education in chemistry at the University of Tübingen, Germany and a Ph.D. degree in 1996. He held Postdoc positions 1997 at Texas A & M University, College Station, TX and 1998 at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA. He joined the Department of Physics of ETH Zurich 1999, where he was appointed Associate Professor 2004. In 2008, he became Full Professor in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of ETH Zurich in Basel. His research interests include the development and application of microsensor, microfluidic, and microelectronic technologies to address questions in biology and medicine with applications in the fields of systems biology, drug testing, personalized medicine, and neuroscience. For details, see
Date: 5 May 2023, 13:00 (Friday, 2nd week, Trinity 2023)
Venue: Sherrington Building, off Parks Road OX1 3PT
Venue Details: Blakemore Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Andreas Hierlemann (Department Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich)
Organising department: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG)
Organisers: Dr Mootaz Salman (DPAG, University of Oxford), Dr Armin Lak (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Francis Szele (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Part of: DPAG Head of Department Seminar Series
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Talitha Smith