Ultrasoft Silicone Gel as a Biomimetic Passivation Layer in Inkjet-Printed 3D MEA Devices

Hideaki Yamamoto, Leroy Grob, Takuma Sumi, Kazuhiro Oiwa, Ayumi Hirano-Iwata, Bernhard Wolfrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Multielectrode arrays (MEAs) are versatile tools that are used for chronic recording and stimulation of neural cells and tissues. Driven by the recent progress in understanding of how neuronal growth and function respond to scaffold stiffness, development of MEAs with a soft cell-to-device interface has gained importance not only for in vivo but also for in vitro applications. However, the passivation layer, which constitutes the majority of the cell–device interface, is typically prepared with stiff materials. Herein, a fabrication of an MEA device with an ultrasoft passivation layer is described, which takes advantage of inkjet printing and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) gel with a stiffness comparable to that of the brain. The major challenge in using the PDMS gel is that it cannot be patterned to expose the sensing area of the electrode. This issue is resolved by printing 3D micropillars at the electrode tip. Primary cortical neurons are grown on the fabricated device, and effective stimulation of the culture confirms functional cell-device coupling. The 3D MEA device with an ultrasoft interface provides a novel platform for investigating evoked activity and drug responses of living neuronal networks cultured in a biomimetic environment for both fundamental research and pharmaceutical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900130
JournalAdvanced Biosystems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1


  • PDMS
  • additive manufacturing
  • bioelectronics
  • biomimetic systems
  • cortical neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrasoft Silicone Gel as a Biomimetic Passivation Layer in Inkjet-Printed 3D MEA Devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this