Objective: Subcellular-sized chronically implanted recording electrodes have demonstrated significant improvement in single unit (SU) yield over larger recording probes. Additional work expands on this initial success by combining the subcellular fiber-like lattice structures with the design space versatility of silicon microfabrication to further improve the signal-to-noise ratio, density of electrodes, and stability of recorded units over months to years. However, ultrasmall microelectrodes present very high impedance, which must be lowered for SU recordings. While poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) doped with polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) coating have demonstrated great success in acute to early-chronic studies for lowering the electrode impedance, concern exists over long-term stability. Here, we demonstrate a new blend of PEDOT doped with carboxyl functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which shows dramatic improvement over the traditional PEDOT/PSS formula. Methods: Lattice style subcellular electrode arrays were fabricated using previously established method. PEDOT was polymerized with carboxylic acid functionalized carbon nanotubes onto high-impedance (8.0 ± 0.1 MΩ: M ± S.E.) 250-μm2 gold recording sites. Results: PEDOT/CNT-coated subcellular electrodes demonstrated significant improvement in chronic spike recording stability over four months compared to PEDOT/PSS recording sites. Conclusion: These results demonstrate great promise for subcellular-sized recording and stimulation electrodes and long-term stability. Significance: This project uses leading-edge biomaterials to develop chronic neural probes that are small (subcellular) with excellent electrical properties for stable long-term recordings. High-density ultrasmall electrodes combined with advanced electrode surface modification are likely to make significant contributions to the development of long-term (permanent), high quality, and selective neural interfaces.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
For the microfabrication work, authors would like to thank the LNF staff members for their support and the use of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility at the University of Michigan. SEM was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biological Imaging.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering