Printed Silk Microelectrode Arrays for Electrophysiological Recoding and Controlled Drug Delivery

N. Adly, T. F. Teshima, H. Hassani, G. Al Boustani, L. J. K. Weiß, G. Cheng, J. Alexander and B. Wolfrum

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2202869 (2023)
The use of soft and flexible bioelectronic interfaces can enhance the quality for recording cells’ electrical activity by ensuring a continuous and intimate contact with the smooth, curving surfaces found in the physiological environment. This work develops soft microelectrode arrays (MEAs) made of silk fibroin (SF) films for recording interfaces that can also serve as a drug delivery system. Inkjet printing is used as a tool to deposit the substrate, conductive electrode, and insulator, as well as a drug-delivery nanocomposite film. This approach is highly versatile, as shown in the fabrication of carbon microelectrodes, sandwiched between a silk substrate and a silk insulator. The technique permits the development of thin-film devices that can be employed for in vitro extracellular recordings of HL-1 cell action potentials. The tuning of SF by applying an electrical stimulus to produce a permeable layer that can be used in on-demand drug delivery systems is also demonstrated. The multifunctional MEA developed here can pave the way for in vitro drug screening by applying time-resolved and localized chemical stimuli.