Syringe-Injectable Electronics with a Plug-and-Play Input/Output Interface

Thomas G. Schuhmann, Jun Yao, Guosong Hong, Tian Ming Fu, Charles M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Syringe-injectable mesh electronics represent a new paradigm for brain science and neural prosthetics by virtue of the stable seamless integration of the electronics with neural tissues, a consequence of the macroporous mesh electronics structure with all size features similar to or less than individual neurons and tissue-like flexibility. These same properties, however, make input/output (I/O) connection to measurement electronics challenging, and work to-date has required methods that could be difficult to implement by the life sciences community. Here we present a new syringe-injectable mesh electronics design with plug-and-play I/O interfacing that is rapid, scalable, and user-friendly to nonexperts. The basic design tapers the ultraflexible mesh electronics to a narrow stem that routes all of the device/electrode interconnects to I/O pads that are inserted into a standard zero insertion force (ZIF) connector. Studies show that the entire plug-and-play mesh electronics can be delivered through capillary needles with precise targeting using microliter-scale injection volumes similar to the standard mesh electronics design. Electrical characterization of mesh electronics containing platinum (Pt) electrodes and silicon (Si) nanowire field-effect transistors (NW-FETs) demonstrates the ability to interface arbitrary devices with a contact resistance of only 3 ω. Finally, in vivo injection into mice required only minutes for I/O connection and yielded expected local field potential (LFP) recordings from a compact head-stage compatible with chronic studies. Our results substantially lower barriers for use by new investigators and open the door for increasingly sophisticated and multifunctional mesh electronics designs for both basic and translational studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5836-5842
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 13 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


  • Mesh electronics
  • flat flexible cable (FFC) connector
  • nanoelectronics interface
  • nanowire field-effect transistor
  • neural interface
  • zero insertion force (ZIF) connection


Dive into the research topics of 'Syringe-Injectable Electronics with a Plug-and-Play Input/Output Interface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this