PhotoMEA is a biosensor useful for the analysis of an in vitro neuronal network, fully based on optical methods. Its function is based on the stimulation of neurons with caged glutamate and the recording of neuronal activity by Voltage-Sensitive fluorescent Dyes (VSD). The main advantage is that it will be possible to stimulate even at sub-single neuron level and to record with high resolution the activity of the entire network in the culture. A large-scale view of neuronal intercommunications offers a unique opportunity for testing the ability of drugs to affect neuronal properties as well as alterations in the behaviour of the entire network. The concept and a prototype for validation is described here in detail.