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Transparent microelectrode arrays fabricated by ion beam assisted deposition for neuronal cell in vitro recordings

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number497
JournalMicromachines
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Microelectrode array (MEA) is a tool used for recording bioelectric signals from electrically active cells in vitro. In this paper, ion beam assisted electron beam deposition (IBAD) has been used for depositing indium tin oxide (ITO) and titanium nitride (TiN) thin films which are applied as transparent track and electrode materials in MEAs. In the first version, both tracks and electrodes were made of ITOto guarantee full transparency and thus optimal imaging capability. In the second version, very thin (20 nm) ITO electrodes were coated with a thin (40 nm) TiN layer to decrease the impedance of O30 μm electrodes to one third (1200 kΩ → 320 kΩ) while maintaining (partial) transparency. The third version was also composed of transparent ITO tracks, but the measurement properties were optimized by using thick (200 nm) opaque TiN electrodes. In addition to the impedance, the optical transmission and electric noise levels of all three versions were characterized and the functionality of the MEAs was successfully demonstrated using human pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal cells. To understand more thoroughly the factors contributing to the impedance, MEAs with higher IBAD ITO thickness as well as commercial sputter-deposited and highly conductive ITO were fabricated for comparison. Even if the sheet-resistance of our IBAD ITO thin films is very high compared to the sputtered one, the impedances of the MEAs of each ITO grade were found to be practically equal (e.g., 300-370 kΩ for O30 μm electrodes with 40 nm TiN coating). This implies that the increased resistance of the tracks, either caused by lower thickness or lower conductivity, has hardly any contribution to the impedance of the MEA electrodes. The impedance is almost completely defined by the double-layer interface between the electrode top layer and the medium including cells.

Keywords

  • Indium tin oxide (ITO), Ion beam assisted electron beam deposition (IBAD), Microelectrode array (MEA), Neurons, Titanium nitride (TiN), Transparent

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland