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Sensors (Basel). 2016 Sep 29;16(10). pii: E1613.

Development of a Flexible Non-Metal Electrode for Cell Stimulation and Recording.

Gong CA1,2,3, Syu WJ4, Lei KF5,6,7, Hwang YS8,9.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan. alex.mlead@gmail.com.
2
Portable Energy System Group, Green Technology Research Center, College of Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan. alex.mlead@gmail.com.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Branch, Taoyuan 33304, Taiwan. alex.mlead@gmail.com.
4
Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics, College of Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan. pc5380@hotmail.com.
5
Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics, College of Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan. kflei@mail.cgu.edu.tw.
6
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan. kflei@mail.cgu.edu.tw.
7
Department of Radiation Oncology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Branch, Taoyuan 33304, Taiwan. kflei@mail.cgu.edu.tw.
8
Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Branch, Taoyuan 33304, Taiwan. yihshiou.hwang@gmail.com.
9
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan. yihshiou.hwang@gmail.com.

Abstract

This study presents a method of producing flexible electrodes for potentially simultaneously stimulating and measuring cellular signals in retinal cells. Currently, most multi-electrode applications rely primarily on etching, but the metals involved have a certain degree of brittleness, leaving them prone to cracking under prolonged pressure. This study proposes using silver chloride ink as a conductive metal, and polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) as the substrate to provide electrodes with an increased degree of flexibility to allow them to bend. This structure is divided into the electrode layer made of PDMS and silver chloride ink, and a PDMS film coating layer. PDMS can be mixed in different proportions to modify the degree of rigidity. The proposed method involved three steps. The first segment entailed the manufacturing of the electrode, using silver chloride ink as the conductive material, and using computer software to define the electrode size and micro-engraving mechanisms to produce the electrode pattern. The resulting uniform PDMS pattern was then baked onto the model, and the flow channel was filled with the conductive material before air drying to produce the required electrode. In the second stage, we tested the electrode, using an impedance analyzer to measure electrode cyclic voltammetry and impedance. In the third phase, mechanical and biocompatibility tests were conducted to determine electrode properties. This study aims to produce a flexible, non-metallic sensing electrode which fits snugly for use in a range of measurement applications.

KEYWORDS:

PDMS; cell; flexible; recording; silver ink; stimulation

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