Catechol-Based Capacitor for Redox-Linked Bioelectronics

ACS Appl Electron Mater. 2019 Aug 27;1(8):1337-1347. doi: 10.1021/acsaelm.9b00272. Epub 2019 Jul 3.


A common bioelectronics goal is to enable communication between biology and electronics, and success is critically dependent on the communication modality. When a biorelevant modality aligns with instrumentation capabilities, remarkable successes have been observed (e.g., electrodes provide a powerful tool to observe and actuate biology through its ion-based electrical modality). Emerging biological research demonstrates that redox is another biologically relevant modality, and recent research has shown that advanced electrochemical methods enable biodevice communication through this redox modality. Here, we briefly summarize the biological relevance of this redox modality and the use of redox mediators to enable access to this modality through electrochemical measurements. Next, we describe the fabrication of a catechol-chitosan redox capacitor that is redox-active but nonconducting and thus offers a unique set of molecular electronic properties that enhance access to redox-based information. Finally, we cite several recent studies that demonstrate the broad potential for this capacitor to access redox-based biological information. In summary, we envision the redox capacitor will become a vital component in the integrated circuitry of redox-linked bioelectronics.

Keywords: catechol; chitosan; mediators; redox biology; redox capacitor.