Flexible and Transparent Metal Oxide/Metal Grid Hybrid Interfaces for Electrophysiology and Optogenetics

Zhiyuan Chen, Rose T. Yin, Sofian N. Obaid, Jinbi Tian, Sheena W. Chen, Alana N. Miniovich, Nicolas Boyajian, Igor R. Efimov*, Luyao Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Flexible and transparent microelectrodes and interconnects provide the unique capability for a wide range of emerging biological applications, including simultaneous optical and electrical interrogation of biological systems. For practical biointerfacing, it is important to further improve the optical, electrical, electrochemical, and mechanical properties of the transparent conductive materials. Here, high-performance microelectrodes and interconnects with high optical transmittance (59–81%), superior electrochemical impedance (5.4–18.4 Ω cm2), and excellent sheet resistance (5.6–14.1 Ω sq−1), using indium tin oxide (ITO) and metal grid (MG) hybrid structures are demonstrated. Notably, the hybrid structures retain the superior mechanical properties of flexible MG other than brittle ITO with no changes in sheet resistance even after 5000 bending cycles against a small radius at 5 mm. The capabilities of the ITO/MG microelectrodes and interconnects are highlighted by high-fidelity electrical recordings of transgenic mouse hearts during co-localized programmed optogenetic stimulation. In vivo histological analysis reveals that the ITO/MG structures are fully biocompatible. Those results demonstrate the great potential of ITO/MG interfaces for broad fundamental and translational physiological studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000322
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • electrophysiology
  • flexible microelectrodes
  • indium tin oxide
  • metal grids
  • transparent microelectrodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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