Nanostructured gold microelectrodes for extracellular recording from electrogenic cells

D. Brüggemann, B. Wolfrum, V. Maybeck, Y. Mourzina, M. Jansen, A. Offenhäusser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


We present a new biocompatible nanostructured microelectrode array for extracellular signal recording from electrogenic cells. Microfabrication techniques were combined with a template-assisted approach using nanoporous aluminum oxide to develop gold nanopillar electrodes. The nanopillars were approximately 300-400nm high and had a diameter of 60nm. Thus, they yielded a higher surface area of the electrodes resulting in a decreased impedance compared to planar electrodes. The interaction between the large-scale gold nanopillar arrays and cardiac muscle cells (HL-1) was investigated via focused ion beam milling. In the resulting cross-sections we observed a tight coupling between the HL-1 cells and the gold nanostructures. However, the cell membranes did not bend into the cleft between adjacent nanopillars due to the high pillar density. We performed extracellular potential recordings from HL-1 cells with the nanostructured microelectrode arrays. The maximal amplitudes recorded with the nanopillar electrodes were up to 100% higher than those recorded with planar gold electrodes. Increasing the aspect ratio of the gold nanopillars and changing the geometrical layout can further enhance the signal quality in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265104
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


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