Nanovolcano microelectrode arrays: toward long-term on-demand registration of transmembrane action potentials by controlled electroporation

Volcano-shaped microelectrodes (nanovolcanoes) functionalized with nanopatterned self-assembled monolayers have recently been demonstrated to report cardiomyocyte action potentials after gaining spontaneous intracellular access. These nanovolcanoes exhibit recording characteristics similar to those of state-of-the-art micro-nanoelectrode arrays that use electroporation as an insertion mechanism. In this study, we investigated whether the use of electroporation improves the performance of nanovolcano arrays in terms of action potential amplitudes, recording durations, and yield. Experiments with neonatal rat cardiomyocyte monolayers grown on nanovolcano arrays demonstrated that electroporation pulses with characteristics derived from analytical models increased the efficiency of nanovolcano recordings, as they enabled multiple on-demand registration of intracellular action potentials with amplitudes as high as 62 mV and parallel recordings in up to ~76% of the available channels. The performance of nanovolcanoes showed no dependence on the presence of functionalized nanopatterns, indicating that the tip geometry itself is instrumental for establishing a tight seal at the cell–electrode interface, which ultimately determines the quality of recordings. Importantly, the use of electroporation permitted the recording of attenuated cardiomyocyte action potentials during consecutive days at identical sites, indicating that nanovolcano recordings are nondestructive and permit long-term on-demand recordings from excitable cardiac tissues. Apart from demonstrating that less complex manufacturing processes can be used for next-generation nanovolcano arrays, the finding that the devices are suitable for performing on-demand recordings of electrical activity from multiple sites of excitable cardiac tissues over extended periods of time opens the possibility of using the devices not only in basic research but also in the context of comprehensive drug testing.

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Microsystems & Nanoengineering, 6, 1, 1-12, 67
Aug 25 2020
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 Record created 2020-08-25, last modified 2020-08-25

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