Impedimetric Characterization of Bioelectronic Nano-Antennae

The merging of electronics with biology at the nanoscale holds considerable promise for sensing and modulating cellular behavior. Advancing our understanding of nano-bioelectronics will facilitate development and enable applications in biosensing, tissue engineering and bioelectronic medicine. However, studies investigating the electrical effects when merging wireless conductive nanoelectrodes with biology are lacking. Consequently, a new tool is required to develop a greater understanding of the bioelectrical effects of merging conductive nanoparticles with biology. Herein, this challenge is addressed by developing an impedimetric method to evaluate bipolar electrochemical systems (BESs) that could act as nano-antennas. A theoretical framework is provided, using impedance to determine if conductive nanoparticles can be polarized and used to drive current. It is then demonstrated that 125 nm Au nanoparticle bipolar electrodes (BPEs) could be sensed with biology when incorporated extracellularly. These results highlight how nanoscale BPEs act in biology and characterize their behavior in electric fields. This research will impact on the rational design of using BPE systems in biology for both sensing and actuating applications.