IMEM-CNR Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism - National Research Council (CNR), Parco Area delle Scienze 37/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECTs) are emerging as devices ideally suitable for biomedical sensing and bio-electronics [1-4]. We here show OECTs operating in bio-liquid environments sensing and monitoring biomolecules at high sensitivity. The devices, based on the conductive polymer PEDOT:PSS, operating at low-voltages in liquids, confirm to be an ideal interface between electronics and biology .
In particular we will discuss our recent achievements in biosensing relevant for nanomedicine and drug delivery applications: detection and monitoring of drug-loaded liposomes and liposome-based nanoparticles  real time studies and analysis of redox properties of phase-responsive pigment biopolymers . Finally we achieved the ability to directly study drug stress and death on cells cultivated on a Transwell membrane, directly integrated in the OECT. We will show the first observation of cellular death, induced by drugs and other chemical substances on normal and cancer cells, achieved by monitored the device output current that is sensitive to the cells death . We hence propose and demonstrate a sensitive diagnostic device based on an Organic Electrochemical Transistor (OECT) for direct in-vitro monitoring cell death. The system efficiently monitors cell death dynamics, being able to detect signals related to specific death mechanisms, namely necrosis or early/late apoptosis, demonstrating a reproducible correlation between the OECT electrical response and the trends of standard cell death assays.These studies pave the way to OECTs as low cost and disposable devices for the monitoring drugs action dynamics.
Keywords: Bioelectronics, biosensing for pharmacology, therapy and biomedical applications, OECT.
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