Fabrication of three-dimensional electrical connections by means of directed actin self-organization

Nat Mater. 2013 May;12(5):416-21. doi: 10.1038/nmat3569. Epub 2013 Feb 10.


A promising approach to improve the performance of microelectronic devices is to build three-dimensional (3D) chips made of stacked circuits. However, a major hurdle lies in the fabrication of dense arrays of electrical interconnections between these layers, where accessibility is limited. Here we show that the directed growth and self-organization of actin filaments can offer a solution to this problem. We defined the shape and orientation of 3D actin networks through both micropatterning of actin nucleation factors and biochemical control of actin filament polymerization. Networks growing from two opposing layers were able to interpenetrate and form mechanically stable connections, which were then coated with gold using a selective metallization process. The electrical conductivity, robustness and modularity of the metallized self-organized connections make this approach potentially attractive for 3D chip manufacturing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / chemistry
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Electric Conductivity*
  • Microtechnology / methods*


  • Actins