Electrophysiological stimulation has been widely adopted for clinical diagnostic and therapeutic treatments for modulation of neuronal activity. Safety is a primary concern in an interventional design leveraging the effects of electrical charge injection into tissue in the proximity of target neurons. While modalities of tissue damage during stimulation have been extensively investigated for specific electrode geometries and stimulation paradigms, a comprehensive model that can predict the electrochemical safety limits in vivo doesn’t yet exist. Here we develop a model that accounts for the electrode geometry, inter-electrode separation, material, and stimulation paradigm in predicting safe current injection limits. We performed a parametric investigation of the stimulation limits in both benchtop and in vivo setups for flexible microelectrode arrays with low impedance, high geometric surface area platinum nanorods and PEDOT:PSS, and higher impedance, planar platinum contacts. We benchmark our findings against standard clinical electrocorticography and depth electrodes. Using four, three and two contact electrochemical impedance measurements and comprehensive circuit models derived from these measurements, we developed a more accurate, clinically relevant and predictive model for the electrochemical interface potential. For each electrode configuration, we experimentally determined the geometric correction factors that dictate geometry-enforced current spreading effects. We also determined the electrolysis windowmore »
A Dual Approach of an Oil–Membrane Composite and Boron-Doped Diamond Electrode to Mitigate Biofluid Interferences
Electrochemical biosensors promise a simple method to measure analytes for both point-of-care diagnostics and continuous, wearable biomarker monitors. In a liquid environment, detecting the analyte of interest must compete with other solutes that impact the background current, such as redox-active molecules, conductivity changes in the biofluid, water electrolysis, and electrode fouling. Multiple methods exist to overcome a few of these challenges, but not a comprehensive solution. Presented here is a combined boron-doped diamond electrode and oil–membrane protection approach that broadly mitigates the impact of biofluid interferents without a biorecognition element. The oil–membrane blocks the majority of interferents in biofluids that are hydrophilic while permitting passage of important hydrophobic analytes such as hormones and drugs. The boron-doped diamond then suppresses water electrolysis current and maintains peak electrochemical performance due to the foulant-mitigation benefits of the oil–membrane protection. Results show up to a 365-fold reduction in detection limits using the boron-doped diamond electrode material alone compared with traditional gold in the buffer. Combining the boron-doped diamond material with the oil–membrane protection scheme maintained these detection limits while exposed to human serum for 18 h.
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