Neuronal cell biocompatibility and adhesion to modified CMOS electrodes


Graham, A. H. D., Bowen, C. R., Taylor, J. and Robbins, J., 2009. Neuronal cell biocompatibility and adhesion to modified CMOS electrodes. Biomedical Microdevices, 11 (5), pp. 1091-1101.

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The use of CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) integrated circuits to create electrodes for biosensors, implants and drug-discovery has several potential advantages over passive multi-electrode arrays (MEAs). However, unmodified aluminium CMOS electrodes may corrode in a physiological environment. We have investigated a low-cost electrode design based on the modification of CMOS metallisation to produce a nanoporous alumina electrode as an interface to mammalian neuronal cells and corrosion inhibitor. Using NG108-15 mouse neuroblastoma x rat glioma hybrid cells, results show that porous alumina is biocompatible and that the inter-pore distance (pore pitch) of the alumina has no effect on cell vitality. To establish whether porous alumina and a cell membrane can produce a tight junction required for good electrical coupling between electrode and cell, we devised a novel cell detachment centrifugation assay to assess the long-term adhesion of cells. Results show that porous alumina substrates produced with a large pore pitch of 206 nm present a significantly improved surface compared to the unmodified aluminium control and that small pore-pitches of 17 nm and 69 nm present a less favourable surface for cell adhesion.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsGraham, A. H. D., Bowen, C. R., Taylor, J. and Robbins, J.
Related URLs
DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering & Design > Mechanical Engineering
Research CentresCentre for Advanced Sensor Technologies (CAST)
ID Code16526


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