Conductively coupled flexible silicon electronic systems for chronic neural electrophysiology

Jinghua Li, Enming Song, Chia Han Chiang, Ki Jun Yu, Jahyun Koo, Haina Du, Yishan Zhong, MacKenna Hill, Charles Wang, Jize Zhang, Yisong Chen, Limei Tian, Yiding Zhong, Guanhua Fanga, Jonathan Vivent, John A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Materials and structures that enable long-term, intimate coupling of flexible electronic devices to biological systems are critically important to the development of advanced biomedical implants for biological research and for clinical medicine. By comparison with simple interfaces based on arrays of passive electrodes, the active electronics in such systems provide powerful and sometimes essential levels of functionality; they also demand long-lived, perfect biofluid barriers to prevent corrosive degradation of the active materials and electrical damage to the adjacent tissues. Recent reports describe strategies that enable relevant capabilities in flexible electronic systems, but only for capacitively coupled interfaces. Here, we introduce schemes that exploit patterns of highly doped silicon nanomembranes chemically bonded to thin, thermally grown layers of SiO2 as leakage-free, chronically stable, conductively coupled interfaces. The results can naturally support high-performance, flexible silicon electronic systems capable of amplified sensing and active matrix multiplexing in biopotential recording and in stimulation via Faradaic charge injection. Systematic in vitro studies highlight key considerations in the materials science and the electrical designs for highfidelity, chronic operation. The results provide a versatile route to biointegrated forms of flexible electronics that can incorporate the most advanced silicon device technologies with broad applications in electrical interfaces to the brain and to other organ systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E9542-E9549
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory and the Micro-Nano-Mechanical Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign for device fabrication and material characterization. K.J.Y. acknowledges the support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grants NRF-2017R1C1B5017728, NRF-2017M1A2A2048880, and NRF-2018M3A7B4071109). L.T. acknowledges the support from Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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