Journal article Open Access

Real-Time Monitoring of Cellular Cultures with Electrolyte-Gated Carbon Nanotube Transistors

Scuratti, F.; Antognazza, M. R.; Caironi, M.

: Cell-based biosensors constitute a fundamental tool in biotechnology, and their relevance has greatly increased in recent years as a result of a surging demand for reduced animal testing and for high-throughput and cost-effective in vitro screening platforms dedicated to environmental and biomedical diagnostics, drug development, and toxicology. In this context, electrochemical/ electronic cell-based biosensors represent a promising class of devices that enable long-term and real-time monitoring of cell physiology in a noninvasive and label-free fashion, with a remarkable potential for process automation and parallelization. Common limitations of this class of devices at large include the need for substrate surface modification strategies to ensure cell adhesion and immobilization, limited compatibility with complementary optical cell-probing techniques, and the need for frequency-dependent measurements, which rely on elaborated equivalent electrical circuit models for data analysis and interpretation. We hereby demonstrate the monitoring of cell adhesion and detachment through the time-dependent variations in the quasi-static characteristic current curves of a highly stable electrolyte-gated transistor, based on an optically transparent network of printable polymer-wrapped semiconducting carbon-nanotubes.

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