Local recording of biological magnetic fields using Giant Magneto Resistance-based micro-probes.
Barbieri, F., Trauchessec, V.. Caruso, L., Trejo Rosillo, J., Telenczuk, B., Paul, E., Bal, T., Destexhe, A., Fermon, C., Pannetier-Lecoeur, M. and Ouanounou, G.

Nature Scientific Reports 6: 39330, 2016.

Copy of the full paper (PDF)
The electrical activity of brain, heart and skeletal muscles generates magnetic fields but these are recordable only macroscopically, such as in magnetoencephalography, which is used to map neuronal activity at the brain scale. At the local scale, magnetic fields recordings are still pending because of the lack of tools that can come in contact with living tissues. Here we present bio-compatible sensors based on Giant Magneto-Resistance (GMR) spin electronics. We show on a mouse muscle in vitro, using electrophysiology and computational modeling, that this technology permits simultaneous local recordings of the magnetic fields from action potentials. The sensitivity of this type of sensor is almost size independent, allowing the miniaturization and shaping required for in vivo/vitro magnetophysiology. GMR-based technology can constitute the magnetic counterpart of microelectrodes in electrophysiology, and might represent a new fundamental tool to investigate the local sources of neuronal magnetic activity.