A PDMS microfluidic system with poly(ethylene glycol)/SU-8 based apertures for planar whole cell-patch-clamp recordings

Baojian Xu, Zongbin Liu, Yi Kuen Lee, Arthur Mak, Mo Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) has been used as an attractive material for planar patch-clamp system fabrication. However, the hydrophobic property of PDMS prevents the establishment of a high-resistance seal with cell membrane. Here, we describe the first use of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)/SU-8 mixture for patch-clamp partition electrode fabrication. This PEG/SU8 mixture with weight ratio of 1:1 has been proved to have better properties compared with PDMS for cell-patch interface, such as improved mechanical property, permanent hydrophilic surface property, and easiness to achieve high-resistance cell sealing. The PEG/SU-8 partitions with 2 μm apertures were successfully fabricated by employing a two-step process of soft lithography for PDMS mold (thermal curing) and PEG/SU-8 chip (UV light curing). The partitions could be reversibly sealed to the PDMS microfluidic system including electrode solution inlet/outlet, cell manipulation inlet/outlet, cell reservoir, microchannels and microfabricated Ag/AgCl electrodes. The integrated chip was successfully used to trap Hela cells onto 2 μm aperture by a negative pressure. We demonstrated that a planar PDMS patch-clamp system with PEG/SU-8 based cell-patch interface for successful patch-clamp recording on Hela cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Micromolding
  • Patch-clamp
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)
  • Whole cell current recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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