Novel concepts for improved communication between nerve cells and silicon electronic devices

Roeland Huys*, Dries Braeken, Bart Van Meerbergen, Kurt Winters, Wolfgang Eberle, Josine Loo, Diana Tsvetanova, Chang Chen, Simone Severi, S. Yitzchaik, M. Spira, J. Shappir, Geert Callewaert, Gustaaf Borghs, Carmen Bartic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Hybrid integration of living cells and electronic circuits on a chip requires a high-density matrix of sensors and actuators. This matrix must be processable on top of CMOS devices and must be bio-compatible in order to support living cells. Recent studies have shown that the use of nail structures combined with a phagocytosis-like event of the cell can be exploited to improve the electrical coupling between a cell and a sensor. In this paper, two CMOS-compatible fabrication methods for sub-micron nails will be presented. The biocompatibility and proof-of-concept is demonstrated by the culturing of PC12 neuroblastoma cells. Electrical functionality is shown by simultaneous stimulation and recording of pig cardiomyocyte cells. Biocompatibility aspects for more demanding cortical cell cultures have been addressed in a preliminary assessment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalSolid-State Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Biocompatibility
  • Biosensors
  • Cardiomyocyte recording
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Micro-nails
  • Neuronal recording
  • Neurons-on-chip
  • Neurophysiology


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