Since in vitro neural recording and imaging applications based on a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique have expanded dramatically in recent years, cytotoxicity assessment to ensure the biosafety and biocompatibility for those applications is crucial. Here, we report the cytotoxicity of the SPR substrate incorporating a flint glass whose refractive index is larger than that of a conventional crown glass. A high refractive index glass substrate is essential in neural signal detection due to the advantages such as high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. From experimental data using primary hippocampal neurons, it is found that a lead-based flint glass is not appropriate as a neural recording template although the neuron cells are not directly attached to the toxic glass. We also demonstrate that the adhesion layer between the glass substrate and the gold film plays an important role in achieving the substrate stability and the cell viability.
© 2014 Optical Society of Korea
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