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Bioelectronics and Optical Electrophysiology

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Bioelectronics and Optical Electrophysiology

Bioelectric signals are crucial for the physiological functions of rhythmic contraction of cardiomyocytes in the heart and communications of neurons in the brain. We use nanofabrication to develop electronic systems for detecting these small bioelectric signals. Specifically, we are developing vertical nanoelectrodes for scalable and non-invasive intracellular recording of cardiomyocytes. We are also developing mesh electrodes to record from organoids and tissues. We hope to achieve a broad impact by combining the development of new tools with applications to specific biological systems. 

bioelectronics with signal

We are developing a new class of label-free optical electrophysiology for detecting neuroelectric signals. ElectroChromic Optical REcording (ECORE) utilizes the unique property of electrochromic materials that their optical absorption is a function of externally applied voltages. When neurons fire an action potential, the voltage will induce a localize color change of the electrochromic thin film, which allows us to optically read out electrical signals. By detecting reflection instead of fluorescence, ECORE avoids photobleaching and phototoxicity. The ECORE project takes a highly interdisciplinary approach of chemistry (electrochromic chemicals), physics (ultrasensitive optical detection), and biology (neuroscience).

ecore data

Selected Publications for bioelectronics

  • Yang X‡, Forró C‡, Li TL, Miura Y, Zaluska T, Tsai CT, Kanton S, McQueen JP, Chen X, Mollo V, Santoro F, Pașca SP*, Cui B*, Kirigami electronics for long-term electrophysiological recording of human neural organoids and assembloids. Nature Biotechnology, (2024) [Link] (bioRxiv, 10.1101/2023.09.22.559050. [Link])
  • Li TL, Liu Y, Forró C, Yang X, Beker L, Bao Z*, Cui B*, Pașca SP*. Stretchable mesh microelectronics for the biointegration and stimulation of human neural organoids. Biomaterials, 290, 121825 (2022). [Link]
  • Yang Y‡, Liu A‡, Tsai CT‡, Liu C, Wu JC, Cui B*. Cardiotoxicity drug screening based on whole-panel intracellular recording. Biosensors Bioelectronics, 216, 114617 (2022). [Link]
  • Jahed Z‡, Yang Y‡, Tsai CT‡, Foster EP, McGuire AF, Yang H, Liu A, Forró C, Yan Z, Jiang X, Zhao MT, Zhang W, Li X, Li T, Pawlosky A, W JC, Cui B*. Nanocrown electrodes for parallel and robust intracellular recording of cardiomyocytes. Nature Communications, 13, 2253 (2022). [Link]
  • Yang X, McGlynn E, Das R, Pasca SP, Cui B, Heidari H. Nanotechnology enables novel modalities for neuromodulation. Advanced Materials, 33, 2103208 (2021). [Link]
  • Lubrano, C., Matrone, G., Forro, C., Jahed, Z., Offenhaeusser, A., Salleo, A., Cui, B., Santoro, F. Towards biomimetic electronics that emulate cells. MRS Communications, 10, 398-412 (2020). [Link]
  • Liu Y, McGuire AF, Lou HY, Li TL, Tok JB, Cui B*, Bao Z*. Soft Conductive Micropillar Electrode Arrays for Biologically-relevant Electrophysiological Recording. PNAS, 115, 11718-11723 (2018). [Link]
  • McGuire AF, Santoro F, Cui B. Interfacing Cells with Vertical Nanoscale Devices: Applications and Characterization. Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry, 11, 101-126 (2018). [Link]
  • Lin ZC, McGuire AF, Burridge PW, Matsa E, Lou HY, Wu JC, Cui B*. Accurate nanoelectrode recording of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for assaying drugs and modeling disease. Microsystems & Nanoengineering, 3,16080 (2017). [Link]
  • Lin ZL, Xie C, Osakada Y, Cui Y*, Cui B*. Iridium Oxide Nanotube Electrodes for Intracellular Measurement of Action Potentials. Nature Communications, 5, 3206 (2014). [Link]
  • Xie C, Lin ZL, Hanson L, Cui Y*, Cui B*. Intracellular recording of action potentials by nanopillar electroporation. Nature Nanotechnology, 7, 185-190 (2012). [Link]

Selected Publications for Optical Electrophysiology

  • Zhou Y, Liu E, Yang Y, Alfonso F, Ahmed B, Nakasone K, Forró C, Müller H*, Cui B*. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 144, 23505-23515 (2022). [Link]
  • Zhou Y, Liu E, Müller H, Cui B*. Optical Electrophysiology: Toward the Goal of Label-Free Voltage Imaging. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 143, 10482-10499 (2021). [Link]
  • Balch HB, McGuire AF, Horng J, Tsai HZ, Qi KK, Duh YS, Forrester PR, Crommie MF, Cui B, Wang F*. Graphene electric field sensor enables single shot label-free imaging of bioelectric potentials. Nano Letter, 21, 4944-4949 (2021). [Link]
  • Alfonso FS, Zhou Y, Liu E, McGuire AF, Yang Y, Kantarci H, Li D, Copenhaver E, Zuchero JB, Müller H*, Cui B*. Label-free optical detection of bioelectric potentials using electrochromic thin films. PNAS, 117, 17260-17268 (2020). [Link]
  • Horng J‡, Balch H‡, McGuire AF, Tsai HZ, Forrester P, Crommie M, Cui B, Wang F*. Imaging electric field dynamics with graphene optoelectronics. Nature Communications, 7, 13704 (2016). [Link]
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