Recording neural activity based on surface plasmon resonance by optical fibers-a computational analysis

Mitra Abedini, Tahereh Tekieh, Pezhman Sasanpour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An all optical, non-destructive method for monitoring neural activity has been proposed and its performance in detection has been analyzed computationally. The proposed method is based on excitation of Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) through the structure of optical fibers. The sensor structure consists of a multimode optical fiber where, the cladding of fiber has been removed and thin film of gold structure has been deposited on the surface. Impinging the laser light with appropriate wavelength inside the fiber and based on the total internal reflection, the evanescent wave will excite surface plasmons in the gold thin film. The absorption of light by surface plasmons in the gold structure is severely dependent on the dielectric properties at its vicinity. The electrical activity of neural cells (action potential) can modulate the dielectric properties at its vicinity and hence can modify the absorption of light inside the optical fiber. We have computationally analyzed the performance of the proposed sensor with different available geometries using Finite Element Method (FEM). In this regard, we have shown that the optical response of proposed sensor will track the action potential of the neuron at its vicinity. Based on different geometrical structure, the sensor has absorption in different regions of visible spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 03 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Action potential
  • Fiber optics
  • Neural activity recording
  • Optical recording
  • Optogenetics
  • Surface plasmon resonance


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