Conductive polymer "molecular wires" increase electrical conductance across artificial cell membranes

Alik S. Widge, Malika Jeffries-El, Yoky Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Highly intimate contact between an electrode and a living neuron is strongly desired by both basic neuroscientists and engineers seeking to develop more effective neural prostheses. The net resistance between electrode and cell must be decreased in order to improve the quality of recordings and deliver the minimum necessary stimulating current specifically to the target cell. The ideal situation would be to establish chronic intracellular contact, bypassing the resistance of the cell membrane and the surrounding tissue. We present here evidence that regioregular polythiophene conductive polymers increase the electrical conductance of an artiflcal lipid bilayer that simulates a cell membrane. Our initial data on its behavior suggest that the polymer is freely diffusing within the lipid phase. This implies that these polymers, if tethered to a larger microelectrode, could permit long-term sustainable intracellular stimulation and recording. We therefore believe that this new molecule, when further developed, has the potential to significantly improve the performance of existing chronic electrode systems and possibly to enable new types of biosensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4330-4333
Number of pages4
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
Volume26 VI
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventConference Proceedings - 26th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2004 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 1 2004Sep 5 2004

Keywords

  • Biomedical electrodes
  • Biomedical transducers
  • Biomembranes
  • Brain-machine interface
  • Molecular electronics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Neural prosthesis

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