Environmental stability is a critical issue for neuronal networks in vitro. Hence, the ability to control the physical and chemical environment of cell cultures during electrophysiological measurements is an important requirement in the experimental design. In this work, we describe the development and the experimental verification of a closed chamber for multisite electrophysiology and optical monitoring. The chamber provides stable temperature, pH and humidity and guarantees cell viability comparable to standard incubators. Besides, it integrates the electronics for long-term neuronal activity recording. The system is portable and adaptable for multiple network housings, which allows performing parallel experiments in the same environment. Our results show that this device can be a solution for long-term electrophysiology, for dual network experiments and for coupled optical and electrical measurements. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2012; 109: 2553–2566. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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