Electrical recording from hearts with flexible nanowire device arrays

Brian P. Timko, Tzahi Cohen-Karni, Guihua Yu, Quan Qing, Bozhi Tian, Charles M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


We show that nanowire field-effect transistor (NWFET) arrays fabricated on both planar and flexible polymeric substrates can be reproducibly interfaced with spontaneously beating embryonic chicken hearts in both planar and bent conformations. Simultaneous recordings from glass microelectrode and NWFET devices show that NWFET conductance variations are synchronized with the beating heart. The conductance change associated with beating can be tuned substantially by device sensitivity, although the voltage-calibrated signals, 4-6 mV, are relatively constant and typically larger than signals recorded by microelectrode arrays. Multiplexed recording from NWFET arrays yielded signal propagation times across the myocardium with high spatial resolution. The transparent and flexible NWFET chips also enable simultaneous electrical recording and optical registration of devices to heart surfaces in three-dimensional conformations not possible with planar microdevices. The capability of simultaneous optical imaging and electrical recording also could be used to register devices to a specific region of the myocardium at the cellular level, and more generally, NWFET arrays fabricated on increasingly flexible plastic and/or biopolymer substrates have the potential to become unique tools for electrical recording from other tissue/organ samples or as powerful implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-918
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 11 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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