We proposed a method of making a flexible depth-type neural probe using liquid crystal polymer. Conventional depth neural probes made of metal or silicon have the limitations of a single recording site per shank or the brittleness of the silicon substrate. To avoid these drawbacks, polymer-based depth neural probes have been developed with biocompatible polymers such as polyimides or parylenes. However, those have suffered from the difficulty of inserting the probes into brain tissues due to their high flexibility, requiring mechanical reinforcements. Herein, we report the first attempt to use a flexible material, liquid crystal polymer (LCP), as a substrate for a depth-type neural probe. The LCP-based probe offers a controllable stiffness vs. flexibility and compatibility with thin-film processes in addition to its inherent characteristics such as high reliability and biocompatibility. In the present study, an LCP neural probe was fabricated to have enough stiffness to penetrate the dura mater of rodent brains without a guide tool or additional reinforcement structures. A simultaneous multichannel neural recording was successfully achieved from the somatosensory motor cortex of the rodents. Immunohistochemistry showed that the electrodes could be inserted into the desired regions in the brain.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Manuscript received January 20, 2012; revised March 17, 2012; accepted April 14, 2012. Date of current version June 20, 2012. This work was supported in part by the Seoul National University and Yonsei University (2011–2012) under the Brain Korea 21 Project, in part by grants from the Industrial Technology Development Program of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea, under the Research Program 10033657, Program 10033812, and Program 10033634 and by the Smart IT Convergence System Research Center under Global Frontier Project SIRC-2011-0031866 of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology of Korea. Asterisk indicates corresponding author.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering