Advanced Science (Nov 2021)

All‐Optical and Label‐Free Stimulation of Action Potentials in Neurons and Cardiomyocytes by Plasmonic Porous Metamaterials

  • Giulia Bruno,
  • Giovanni Melle,
  • Andrea Barbaglia,
  • Giuseppina Iachetta,
  • Rustamzhon Melikov,
  • Michela Perrone,
  • Michele Dipalo,
  • Francesco De Angelis

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 21
pp. n/a – n/a


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Abstract Optical stimulation technologies are gaining great consideration in cardiology, neuroscience studies, and drug discovery pathways by providing control over cell activity with high spatio‐temporal resolution. However, this high precision requires manipulation of biological processes at genetic level concealing its development from broad scale application. Therefore, translating these technologies into tools for medical or pharmacological applications remains a challenge. Here, an all‐optical nongenetic method for the modulation of electrogenic cells is introduced. It is demonstrated that plasmonic metamaterials can be used to elicit action potentials by converting near infrared laser pulses into stimulatory currents. The suggested approach allows for the stimulation of cardiomyocytes and neurons directly on commercial complementary metal‐oxide semiconductor microelectrode arrays coupled with ultrafast pulsed laser, providing both stimulation and network‐level recordings on the same device.