Electronic control of Ca2+ signalling in neuronal cells using an organic electronic ion pump

Nat Mater. 2007 Sep;6(9):673-9. doi: 10.1038/nmat1963. Epub 2007 Jul 22.


Cells and tissues use finely regulated ion fluxes for their intra- and intercellular communication. Technologies providing spatial and temporal control for studies of such fluxes are however, limited. We have developed an electrophoretic ion pump made of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with poly(styrene sulphonate) (PEDOT:PSS) to mediate electronic control of the ion homeostasis in neurons. Ion delivery from a source reservoir to a receiving electrolyte via a PEDOT:PSS thin-film channel was achieved by electronic addressing. Ions are delivered in high quantities at an associated on/off ratio exceeding 300. This induces physiological signalling events that can be recorded at the single-cell level. Furthermore, miniaturization of the device to a 50-microm-wide channel allows for stimulation of individual cells. As this technology platform allows for electronic control of ion signalling in individual cells with proper spatial and temporal resolution, it will be useful in further studies of communication in biological systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Line
  • Electrochemistry / instrumentation
  • Electrochemistry / methods
  • Electronics
  • Electrophoresis / methods*
  • Electroporation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Ions
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Ions
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Polymers