Bioelectronic tongue of taste buds on microelectrode array for salt sensing

Qingjun Liu, Fenni Zhang, Diming Zhang, Ning Hu, Hua Wang, K. Jimmy Hsia, Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taste has received great attention for its potential applications. In this work, we combine the biological tissue with micro-chips to establish a novel bioelectronic tongue system for salt taste detection. Before experiment, we established a computational model of action potential in salt taste receptor cell, simulating the responsive results to natural salt stimuli of NaCl solution with various concentrations. Then 36-channel microelectrode arrays (MEA) with the diameter of 30. μm were fabricated on the glass substrate, and taste epithelium was stripped from rat and fixed on MEA. When stimulated by the salt stimuli, electrophysiological activities of taste receptor cells in taste buds were measured through a multi-channel recording system. Both simulation and experiment results showed a dose-dependent increase in NaCl-induced potentials of taste receptor cells, which indicated good applications in salt measurements. The multi-channel analysis demonstrated that different groups of MEA channels were activated during stimulations, indicating non-overlapping populations of receptor cells in taste buds involved in salt taste perception. The study provides an effective and reliable biosensor platform to help recognize and distinguish salt taste components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell and tissue based biosensor
  • Microelectrode array (MEA)
  • Salt taste
  • Sodium chloride (NaCl)
  • Taste bud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Electrochemistry


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