A neuron-silicon junction: a Retzius cell of the leech on an insulated-gate field-effect transistor

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Science  31 May 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5010, pp. 1290-1293
DOI: 10.1126/science.1925540


An identified neuron of the leech, a Retzius cell, has been attached to the open gate of a p-channel field-effect transistor. Action potentials, spontaneous or stimulated, modulate directly the source-drain current in silicon. The electronic signals match the shape of the action potential. The average voltage on the gate was up to 25 percent of the intracellular voltage change. Occasionally weak signals that resemble the first derivative of the action potential were observed. The junctions can be described by a model that includes capacitive coupling of the plasma membrane and the gate oxide and that accounts for variable resistance of the seal.

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