Dec 9, 2017

Fluidic Microactuation of Flexible Electrodes for Neural Recording

Nano Letters
Flavia VitaleJacob T Robinson

Abstract

Soft and conductive nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes, graphene, and nanowire scaffolds have expanded the family of ultraflexible microelectrodes that can bend and flex with the natural movement of the brain, reduce the inflammatory response, and improve the stability of long-term neural recordings. However, current methods to implant these highly flexible electrodes rely on temporary stiffening agents that temporarily increase the electrode size and stiffness thus aggravating neural damage during implantation, which can lead to cell loss and glial activation that persists even after the stiffening agents are removed or dissolve. A method to deliver thin, ultraflexible electrodes deep into neural tissue without increasing the stiffness or size of the electrodes will enable minimally invasive electrical recordings from within the brain. Here we show that specially designed microfluidic devices can apply a tension force to ultraflexible electrodes that prevents buckling without increasing the thickness or stiffness of the electrode during implantation. Additionally, these "fluidic microdrives" allow us to precisely actuate the electrode position with micron-scale accuracy. To demonstrate the efficacy of our fluidic microdrives,...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Microelectrodes
Positioning Attribute
Size
CNTF gene
Graphene
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Extracellular
Entire Thalamic Reticular Nucleus
Hydra Polyps
Neurons

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