Stretchable microelectrode array using room-temperature liquid alloy interconnects

P. Wei, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
R. Taylor, Stanford University
Z. Ding, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
C. Chung, Stanford University
O. J. Abilez, Stanford University
G. Higgs, Stanford University
B. L. Pruitt, Stanford University
Babak Ziaie, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



J. Micromech. Microeng. 21 (2011) 054015 (8pp)


In this paper, we present a stretchable microelectrode array for studying cell behavior under mechanical strain. The electrode array consists of gold-plated nail-head pins (250 mu m tip diameter) or tungsten micro-wires (25.4 mu m in diameter) inserted into a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) platform (25.4 x 25.4 mm(2)). Stretchable interconnects to the outside were provided by fusible indium-alloy-filled microchannels. The alloy is liquid at room temperature, thus providing the necessary stretchability and electrical conductivity. The electrode platform can withstand strains of up to 40% and repeated (100 times) strains of up to 35% did not cause any failure in the electrodes or the PDMS substrate. We confirmed biocompatibility of short-term culture, and using the gold pin device, we demonstrated electric field pacing of adult murine heart cells. Further, using the tungsten microelectrode device, we successfully measured depolarizations of differentiated murine heart cells from embryoid body clusters.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology