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Nanocavity electrode array for recording from electrogenic cells

Article appeared in: Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 1054-1058 , DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00582G

Boris Hofmann, Enno Kätelhön, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Offenhäusser and Bernhard Wolfrum


Cross section of a nanocavity sensor for highly localized extracellular recordings on a chip. Cross section of a nanocavity sensor for highly localized extracellular recordings on a chip.

We present a new nanocavity device for highly localized on-chip recordings of action potentials from individual cells in a network. Microelectrode recordings have become the method of choice for recording extracellular action potentials from high density cultures or slices. Nevertheless, interfacing individual cells of a network with high resolution still remains challenging due to an insufficient coupling of the signal to small electrodes, exhibiting diameters below 10 µm. We show that this problem can be overcome by a new type of sensor that features an electrode, which is accessed via a small aperture and a nanosized cavity. Thus, the properties of large electrodes are combined with a high local resolution and a good seal resistance at the interface. Fabrication of the device can be performed with state-of-the-art clean room technology and sacrificial layer etching allowing integration of the devices into sensor arrays. We demonstrate the capability of such an array by recording the propagation of action potentials in a network of cardiomyocyte-like cells.


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