Real-world bioelectronics applications, including drug delivery systems, biosensing and electrical modulation of tissues and organs, largely require biointerfaces at the macroscopic level. However, traditional macroscale bioelectronic electrodes usually exhibit invasive or power-inefficient architectures, inability to form uniform and subcellular interfaces, or faradaic reactions at electrode surfaces. Here, we develop a micelle-enabled self-assembly approach for a binder-free and carbon-based monolithic device, aimed at large-scale bioelectronic interfaces. The device incorporates a multi-scale porous material architecture, an interdigitated microelectrode layout and a supercapacitor-like performance. In cell training processes, we use the device to modulate the contraction rate of primary cardiomyocytes at the subcellular level to target frequency in vitro. We also achieve capacitive control of the electrophysiology in isolated hearts, retinal tissues and sciatic nerves, as well as bioelectronic cardiac sensing. Our results support the exploration of device platforms already used in energy research to identify new opportunities in bioelectronics.
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The raw data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request. The LabVIEW control program, and the MATLAB and Python scripts are available at https://github.com/uchicago-Tian-Lab/Fang_et_al_Nat_Nanotechnology_2020.
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This work is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH NS101488), Army Research Office (W911NF-18-1-0042), National Science Foundation (NSF CMMI-1848613) and Office of Naval Research (PECASE, N000141612958).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Nanotechnology thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Supplementary Figs. 1–29, Tables 1–2 and Notes 1–3.
The ΔF/F0 video of CMs at the beginning of the subthreshold training. Overlay shows approximate positions of the cells. Scale bar, 10 μm.
The ΔF/F0 video of CMs at the end of the subthreshold training. Overlay shows approximate positions of the cells and was adjusted for the field of view drift with respect to Supplementary Video 1. Scale bar, 10 μm.
Representative video of the isolated heart stimulated to a frequency of 3.33 Hz.
Representative video of the sciatic nerve stimulated on one limb.
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Fang, Y., Prominski, A., Rotenberg, M.Y. et al. Micelle-enabled self-assembly of porous and monolithic carbon membranes for bioelectronic interfaces. Nat. Nanotechnol. 16, 206–213 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-020-00805-z
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