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This content will become publicly available on October 6, 2023

Title: A universal model of electrochemical safety limits in vivo for electrophysiological stimulation
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 window more » from cyclic-voltammetry measurements which allowed us to calculate stimulation current safety limits from voltage transient measurements. From parametric benchtop electrochemical measurements and analyses for different electrode types, we created a predictive equation for the cathodal excitation measured at the electrode interface as a function of the electrode dimensions, geometric factor, material and stimulation paradigm. We validated the accuracy of our equation in vivo and compared the experimentally determined safety limits to clinically used stimulation protocols. Our new model overcomes the design limitations of Shannon’s equation and applies to macro- and micro-electrodes at different density or separation of contacts, captures the breakdown of charge-density based approaches at long stimulation pulse widths, and invokes appropriate power exponents to current, pulse width, and material/electrode-dependent impedance. « less
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Frontiers in Neuroscience
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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