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Mirror charge biosensor

BiosensorBiosensoreCardiotossicitàCardiotoxicityElectrophysiology in vitroElettrofisiologia in vitroNeuroscienceNeuroscienzeNeurotossicitàNeurotoxicitypharmacology


A device capable of recording electrical signals generated by neurons and cardiac cells cultured in-vitro. The biosensor exploits the concept of mirror charging to record optical signals that closely mirror the electrical signals of the cells. The biosensor is the first of his kind to record electrical signals from cells in a complete non-invasive way, being thus able to monitor cells for long-time without interfering with them. This makes is suitable for long-term (chronic) studies related to toxicology, pharmacology, neuroscience and cardiology.

Technical features

The biosensor is capable of recording electrical signals generated by electrogenic cells. The biosensor consists of a microfluidic device on which cells can be cultured using standard culture protocols. The microfluidic device consists of a thin titanium nitride membrane that divides the cell culture from a microfluidic compartment in which there are fluorescent molecules dispersed in a fluid. Electrical signals from the cells move the fluorescent molecules due to the presence of pass-through microelectrodes. Optical detection of the movement of fluorescent molecules provides precise information about the signals generated by the cells. The sensor can accurately follow the electrophysiological signals of cells with a precision comparable to that of other optical detection methods, while being much less invasive to the cells. The biosensor sensitivity is high enough to detect subtle changes due to effects of xenobiotics. TRL 3.

Possible Applications

  • Drug development;
  • Toxicology;
  • Preclinical trials;
  • Neuroscience and Cardiology.


  • Very high spatial resolution;
  • Non-invasive method that does not damage the biological sample;
  • High scalability for high-throughput applications.