Uwe Pliquett, Dieter Frense, Markus Schönfeldt, Christian Frätzer, Yong Zhang, Brian Cahill, Michael Metzen, Andreas Barthel, Thomas Nacke and Dieter Beckmann
Miniaturized electrodes are introduced in life sciences in a great number and variety. They are often designed for a special purpose without the need of quantitative analysis, such as for detecting cells or water droplets in a fluid channel. Other developments aim in monitoring a single quantity in a process where all other factors held constant.
To use miniaturized electrodes for quantitative measurements, their behavior should be known in detail and stable over time in order to allow a mathematical correction of the data measured.
Here we show test procedures for evaluating macroscopic but also microscopic electrodes. The most important quality parameters for electrode systems used in life science are the electrode impedance, its stability, the useful frequency range as well as the limits for applied stimulus without driving the electrode system into a non-linear region of the current/voltage relation. Proper electrode design allows a bandwidth from 100 Hz up to some MHz for impedances ranging over decades from 50 Ω up to several MΩ.