In vitro multi-electrode array (MEA) technology is nowadays involved in a wide range of applications beyond neuroscience, such as cardiac electrophysiology and bio-interface studies. However, the cost of commercially available acquisition systems severely limits its adoption outside specialized laboratories with high budget capabilities. Thus, the availability of low-cost methods to acquire signals from MEAs is important to allow research labs worldwide to exploit this technology for an ever-expanding pool of experiments independently from their economic possibilities. Here, we provide a comprehensive toolset to assemble a multifunctional in vitro MEA acquisition system with a total cost 80% lower than standard commercial solutions. We demonstrate the capabilities of this acquisition system by employing it to i) characterize commercial MEA devices by means of electrical impedance measurements ii) record activity from cultures of HL-1 cells extracellularly, and iii) electroporate HL-1 cells through nanostructured MEAs and record intracellular signals.