Nanostructured cavity devices for extracellular stimulation of HL-1 cells

Anna Czeschik, Philipp Rinklin, Ulrike Derra, Sabrina Ullmann, Peter Holik, Siegfried Steltenkamp, Andreas Offenhäusser, Bernhard Wolfrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Microelectrode arrays (MEAs) are state-of-the-art devices for extracellular recording and stimulation on biological tissue. Furthermore, they are a relevant tool for the development of biomedical applications like retina, cochlear and motor prostheses, cardiac pacemakers and drug screening. Hence, research on functional cell-sensor interfaces, as well as the development of new surface structures and modifications for improved electrode characteristics, is a vivid and well established field. However, combining single-cell resolution with sufficient signal coupling remains challenging due to poor cell-electrode sealing. Furthermore, electrodes with diameters below 20 μm often suffer from a high electrical impedance affecting the noise during voltage recordings. In this study, we report on a nanocavity sensor array for voltage-controlled stimulation and extracellular action potential recordings on cellular networks. Nanocavity devices combine the advantages of low-impedance electrodes with small cell-chip interfaces, preserving a high spatial resolution for recording and stimulation. A reservoir between opening aperture and electrode is provided, allowing the cell to access the structure for a tight cell-sensor sealing. We present the well-controlled fabrication process and the effect of cavity formation and electrode patterning on the sensor's impedance. Further, we demonstrate reliable voltage-controlled stimulation using nanostructured cavity devices by capturing the pacemaker of an HL-1 cell network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9275-9281
Number of pages7
Issue number20
StatePublished - 28 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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