Arrays of microscopic organic LEDs for high resolution optogenetics

Anja Steude, Emily Charlotte Witts, Gareth Brian Miles, Malte Christian Gather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Optogenetics is a paradigm changing new method to study and manipulate the behavior of cells with light. Following major advances of the used genetic constructs over the last decade, the light sources required for optogenetic control are now receiving increased attention. Here, we report on
a novel optogenetic illumination platform based on high density arrays of microscopic organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Due to the small dimensions of each array element (6x9 µm²) and the use of ultra-thin device encapsulation, these arrays enable illumination of cells with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. We show that adherent eukaryotic cells readily proliferate on these arrays and we demonstrate specific light-induced control of the ionic current
across the membrane of individual live cells expressing different optogenetic constructs. Our work paves the way for the use of OLEDs for cell-specific optogenetic control in cultured neuronal networks, acute brain slices or as implants in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1600061
Number of pages8
JournalScience Advances
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016


  • OLED
  • Optogenetics
  • Microdisplays
  • Organic electronics
  • Neuroscience
  • Channelrhodopsin


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