Electric forces to characterize future biocompatible organic electronic devices

Schematic representation of the in-liquid Scanning Dielectric Microscopy set-up used to measure the local electric properties of an electrolyte gated organic field effect transistor (EGOFET) under operation.



Electronic biosensors based on organic materials could make soon a reality the dream of low-cost, disposable, flexible and biocompatible electronic devices for the interaction with biological systems. A research team led by researchers of the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) carried out a study on the electrical properties of organic biosensor/electrolyte interface at nanoscale by measuring local electric forces.

To conduct the study, researchers used a microscopy technique developed some years ago in the Nanoscale Bioelectrical Characterization group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), led by Professor Gabriel Gomila, from the Department of Electronic and Biomedical Engineering Professor. This technique, referred to as in-liquid Scanning Dielectric Microscopy, can probe the electrical properties of solid/electrolyte interfaces by measuring the electric force between a very sharp tip mounted on a microscopic cantilever and the biosensor surface.

Using the visualization of electrical properties of biosensor interfaces that until now had remained invisible, the study offers novel avenues for the optimization of the performance of the organic biosensor devices and paves the way for its faster adoption in applications in the medical real.

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