Ultrasmall microelectrode arrays have the potential to improve the spatial resolution of microstimulation. Carbon fiber (CF) microelectrodes with cross-sections of less than 8 μm have been demonstrated to penetrate cortical tissue and evoke minimal scarring in chronic implant tests. In this study, we investigate the stability and performance of neural stimulation electrodes comprised of electrodeposited platinum-iridium (PtIr) on carbon fibers. We conducted pulse testing and characterized charge injection in vitro and recorded voltage transients in vitro and in vivo. Standard electrochemical measurements (impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry) and visual inspection (scanning electron microscopy) were used to assess changes due to pulsing. Similar to other studies, the application of pulses caused a decrease in impedance and a reduction in voltage transients, but analysis of the impedance data suggests that these changes are due to surface modification and not permanent changes to the electrode. Comparison of scanning electron microscope images before and after pulse testing confirmed electrode stability.
This content will become publicly available on October 6, 2023
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 »
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- Frontiers in Neuroscience
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- National Science Foundation
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