A soft, stretchable and conductive biointerface for cell mechanobiology

Irene Bernardeschi, Francesco Greco, Gianni Ciofani, Attilio Marino, Virgilio Mattoli, Barbara Mazzolai, Lucia Beccai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In mechanobiology the study of cell response to mechanical stimuli is fundamental, and the involved processes (i.e., mechanotransduction) need to be investigated by interfacing (mechanically and electrically) with the cells in dynamic and non-invasive natural-like conditions. In this work, we present a novel soft, stretchable and conductive biointerface that allows both cell mechanical stimulation and dynamic impedance recording. The biointerface stretchability and conductivity, jointly to the biocompatibility and transparency needed to perform cell culture studies, were obtained by exploiting the formation of wrinkles on the surface of a 90 nm thick conductive layer of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) on a pre-stretched 130 μm thick poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) substrate. Cell adhesion and proliferation of SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells were evaluated, and cell differentiation on the corrugated surface was assessed. We demonstrate how the biointerface remains conductive when applying uniaxial strain up to 10 %, and when cell culturing is performed. Finally, a reduction of about 30 % of the relative impedance variation signal was measured, with respect to the control, as a result of the mechanical stimulation of cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Biohybrid
  • Impedance
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Stretchable biointerface
  • Surface wrinkling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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