Flexible graphene transistors for recording cell action potentials
Summary (1 min read)
- In recent years, an increasing effort is being dedicated to the development of a new generation of electronic devices that can further advance the interface to living cells and tissue.
- Besides improving their understanding of the nervous system and the brain, these devices can be applied in electrically-active prostheses to restore vision, hearing, or to find a solution to damaged motor or sensory functions. .
- Besides microelectrode array (MEA) technologies[2, 9, 10, 11] transistor-based concepts are receiving renewed attention for recording [12, 13, 14, 15, 16] due to the advantages they can offer.
- Furthermore, in order to allow for a high sensitivity in the detection of action potentials the material of choice is expected to exhibit good electronic performance, such as high carrier mobility and low intrinsic noise. .
- The authors work confirms that flexible devices fabricated using CVD graphene can play a significant role in the next generation of implant technologies.
2. Results and discussion
- In short, metal contacts were evaporated onto the substrate, after which CVD graphene was transferred and the active area of the transistors was defined.
- Besides the transconductance, the intrinsic electronic noise of the transistor has to be considered in order to characterize its sensitivity: the noise figure of merit sets the limit for the minimum modulation of the gate, and thus the minimum cell signal that can be detected by the transistor.
- On the one hand, a noise parameter A displaying a gm 2 dependence has been correlated to a noise mechanism in which charge fluctuations close to the graphene transistor active area are coupled into the device through the interfacial capacitance.
- After plating (see methods section) a confluent layer of HL-1 cells formed on the device.
- In four of the transistors action potentials were recorded with a frequency of approx.
- The transistors show high transconductance and low electronic noise and do not degrade during bending experiments.
- After the successful culture of electrogenic HL-1 cells the authors were able to record action potentials from the cells with excellent signal-to-noise ratio.
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