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- Chemistry; Chemical Engineering
Neural interfaces that do not damage cells or tissues are key to connecting brain functions to neural prosthetics. Here, we designed a transparent graphene/vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) electrode capable of extracellularly recording spontaneous action potentials in Sprague-Dawley rat primary cortex neurons. Graphene provided the dual function of contacting the VACNTs and visually monitoring the cell viability. The hybrid electrodes exhibited remarkably high peak-to-peak signal amplitudes (1600 μV) and low noise levels, presumably due to tight junction formation between the cells and the deformed CNTs. Spike simulation and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) imaging confirmed the excellent interfacial characteristics of the cells and the transparent hybrid electrodes.