Issue 8, 2015

3D plasmonic nanoantennas integrated with MEA biosensors


Neuronal signaling in brain circuits occurs at multiple scales ranging from molecules and cells to large neuronal assemblies. However, current sensing neurotechnologies are not designed for parallel access of signals at multiple scales. With the aim of combining nanoscale molecular sensing with electrical neural activity recordings within large neuronal assemblies, in this work three-dimensional (3D) plasmonic nanoantennas are integrated with multielectrode arrays (MEA). Nanoantennas are fabricated by fast ion beam milling on optical resist; gold is deposited on the nanoantennas in order to connect them electrically to the MEA microelectrodes and to obtain plasmonic behavior. The optical properties of these 3D nanostructures are studied through finite elements method (FEM) simulations that show a high electromagnetic field enhancement. This plasmonic enhancement is confirmed by surface enhancement Raman spectroscopy of a dye performed in liquid, which presents an enhancement of almost 100 times the incident field amplitude at resonant excitation. Finally, the reported MEA devices are tested on cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Neurons develop by extending branches on the nanostructured electrodes and extracellular action potentials are recorded over multiple days in vitro. Raman spectra of living neurons cultured on the nanoantennas are also acquired. These results highlight that these nanostructures could be potential candidates for combining electrophysiological measures of large networks with simultaneous spectroscopic investigations at the molecular level.

Graphical abstract: 3D plasmonic nanoantennas integrated with MEA biosensors

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
23 Sep 2014
16 Jan 2015
First published
02 Feb 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2015,7, 3703-3711

Author version available

3D plasmonic nanoantennas integrated with MEA biosensors

M. Dipalo, G. C. Messina, H. Amin, R. La Rocca, V. Shalabaeva, A. Simi, A. Maccione, P. Zilio, L. Berdondini and F. De Angelis, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 3703 DOI: 10.1039/C4NR05578K

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