In biointegrated electronics, the facile control of mechanical properties such as softness and stretchability in electronic devices is necessary to minimize the perturbation of motions inherent in biological systems1,2,3,4,5. For in vitro studies, multielectrode-embedded dishes6,7,8 and other rigid devices9,10,11,12 have been widely used. Soft or flexible electronics on plastic or elastomeric substrates13,14,15 offer promising new advantages such as decreasing physical stress16,17,18 and/or applying mechanical stimuli19,20. Recently, owing to the introduction of macroporous plastic substrates with nanofibre scaffolds21,22, three-dimensional electrophysiological mapping of cardiomyocytes has been demonstrated. However, quantitatively monitoring cells that exhibit significant dynamical motions via electric probes over a long period without affecting their natural motion remains a challenge. Here, we present ultrasoft electronics with nanomeshes that monitor the field potential of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes on a hydrogel, while enabling them to move dynamically without interference. Owing to the extraordinary softness of the nanomeshes, nanomesh-attached cardiomyocytes exhibit contraction and relaxation motions comparable to that of cardiomyocytes without attached nanomeshes. Our multilayered nanomesh devices maintain reliable operations in a liquid environment, enabling the recording of field potentials of the cardiomyocytes over a period of 96 h without significant degradation of the nanomesh devices or damage of the cardiomyocytes.

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This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (grant number 17H06149). The authors thank S. Lee, W. Lee and D. Ordinario for technical support and discussions.

Author information

Author notes

    • Sungjun Park

    Present address: Organic Materials Laboratory, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), Suwon, South Korea


  1. Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information Systems, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

    • Sunghoon Lee
    • , Dongmin Kim
    • , Mami Mori
    • , Tomoyuki Yokota
    • , Masaki Sekino
    •  & Takao Someya
  2. Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan

    • Daisuke Sasaki
    • , Katsuhisa Matsuura
    •  & Tatsuya Shimizu
  3. Thin-Film Device Laboratory, RIKEN, Saitama, Japan

    • Hyunjae Lee
    • , Kenjiro Fukuda
    •  & Takao Someya
  4. Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), RIKEN, Saitama, Japan

    • Sungjun Park
    • , Kenjiro Fukuda
    •  & Takao Someya


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S.L., D.K. and M.M. fabricated the nanomesh devices. D.S., K.M. and T. Shimuzu fabricated the hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. S.L., D.K., H.L., S.P., K.F., T.Y., M.S. and T. Someya contributed the electric and mechanical characterizations and analyses of nanomesh devices. S.L. and D.S. contributed to the strain analyses and the field potential measurements of the hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. S.L. and T. Someya wrote the manuscript, and T. Someya supervised this project.

Competing interests

There is a potential competing interest: T. Shimizu is a shareholder and a member of the scientific advisory board of CellSeed Inc. Tokyo Women’s Medical University receives a research fund from CellSeed Inc. All other authors have no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Takao Someya.

Supplementary Information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Text, Supplementary References 1–7, Supplementary Figures 1–18, Supplementary Video Captions 1–6

  2. Supplementary Video 1

    Phase-contrast microscopy movie of polyurethane-only nanosubstrate attached cardiomyocytes

  3. Supplementary Video 2

    Phase-contrast microscopy movie of cardiomyocytes without attaching nanosubstrate

  4. Supplementary Video 3

    Microscopy video of polyurethane-only nanosubstrate attached cardiomyocytes without phase-contrast filter

  5. Supplementary Video 4

    Phase-contrast microscopy movie of polyurethane/100-nm-thick parylene nanosubstrate attached cardiomyocytes

  6. Supplementary Video 5

    Phase-contrast microscopy video of polyurethane/400-nm-thick parylene nanosubstrate attached cardiomyocytes

  7. Supplementary Video 6

    Microscopy video of nanomesh device attached cardiomyocytes with and without phase-contrast filter

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