Biocompatibility Studies of Functionalized Regioregular Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Layers for Sensing Applications

Giuseppe Scarpa, Anna Lena Idzko, Stefan Götz, Stefan Thalhammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


There is a significant medical and biological need for cheap disposable analytical sensing devices, which can be used in clinical settings or medical research. Organic electronics based on polymeric materials, being suitable for large-area, low-cost, flexible, and maybe even disposable electronics, could satisfy this need in a very elegant way. Unfortunately, the ensurance of biocompatibility and biofunctionalization of conducting and semiconducting polymers is still often lacking. In the present study, we concentrate on one of the most promising polymeric materials, regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), being both a reasonably conducting and optically active polymer. To overcome biocompatibility problems, protein-based coatings and oxygen-plasma treatments are performed to enable growth of adherent living cells on those modified surfaces. For our studies, the polymer material is spun or casted onto glass substrates under an inert nitrogen atmosphere. The toxic solvents are removed by thermal treatment with subsequent application of the coating or functionalizing materials. Cell-growth studies and adhesion experiments on the modified P3HT thin-film layers are carried out with mouse fibroblasts. This work demonstrates the biocompatibility and biofunctionalization of an active semiconducting organic polymer, hence opening new possibilities in the realization of biomedical test systems based on organic biosensors in life sciences. (Figure Presented)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-383
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Apr 2010


  • Biocompatibilities
  • Biosensors
  • Cell adhesions
  • Polymers
  • Surface treatments


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