Subcellular neural probes from single-crystal gold nanowires

Mijeong Kang, Seungmoon Jung, Huanan Zhang, Taejoon Kang, Hosuk Kang, Youngdong Yoo, Jin Pyo Hong, Jae Pyoung Ahn, Juhyoun Kwak, Daejong Jeon, Nicholas A. Kotov, Bongsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Size reduction of neural electrodes is essential for improving the functionality of neuroprosthetic devices, developing potent therapies for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, and long-term brain-computer interfaces. Typical neural electrodes are micromanufactured devices with dimensions ranging from tens to hundreds of micrometers. Their further miniaturization is necessary to reduce local tissue damage and chronic immunological reactions of the brain. Here we report the neural electrode with subcellular dimensions based on single-crystalline gold nanowires (NWs) with a diameter of ∼100 nm. Unique mechanical and electrical properties of defect-free gold NWs enabled their implantation and recording of single neuron-activities in a live mouse brain despite a ∼50× reduction of the size compared to the closest analogues. Reduction of electrode dimensions enabled recording of neural activity with improved spatial resolution and differentiation of brain activity in response to different social situations for mice. The successful localization of the epileptic seizure center was also achieved using a multielectrode probe as a demonstration of the diagnostics potential of NW electrodes. This study demonstrated the realism of single-neuron recording using subcellular-sized electrodes that may be considered a pivotal point for use in diverse studies of chronic brain diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8182-8189
Number of pages8
JournalACS nano
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 26 2014


  • BRAIN initiative
  • brain-machine interface
  • electrode miniaturization
  • epilepsy
  • gold nanowire
  • long-term neural recordings
  • nanoelectrode
  • neural implants
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • neuroprosthetics
  • paralysis
  • single-neuron detection
  • subcellular-sized implants


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