Mar 062015

An organic transistor-based system for reference-less electrophysiological monitoring of excitable cells

Andrea Spanu, Stefano Lai, Piero Cosseddu, M. Tedesco, Sergio Martinoia & Annalisa Bonfiglio

Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 8807, doi:10.1038/srep08807

In the last four decades, substantial advances have been done in the understanding of the electrical behavior of excitable cells. From the introduction in the early 70’s of the Ion Sensitive Field Effect Transistor (ISFET), a lot of effort has been put in the development of more and more performing transistor-based devices to reliably interface electrogenic cells such as, for example, cardiac myocytes and neurons. However, depending on the type of application, the electronic devices used to this aim face several problems like the intrinsic rigidity of the materials (associated with foreign body rejection reactions), lack of transparency and the presence of a reference electrode. Here, an innovative system based on a novel kind of organic thin film transistor (OTFT), called organic charge modulated FET (OCMFET), is proposed as a flexible, transparent, reference-less transducer of the electrical activity of electrogenic cells. The exploitation of organic electronics in interfacing the living matters will open up new perspectives in the electrophysiological field allowing us to head toward a modern era of flexible, reference-less, and low cost probes with high-spatial and high-temporal resolution for a new generation of in-vitro and in-vivo monitoring platforms.

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