Parallel, minimally-invasive implantation of ultra-flexible neural electrode arrays


Z. Zhao, Li, X., He, F., Wei, X., Lin, S., and Xie, C., “Parallel, minimally-invasive implantation of ultra-flexible neural electrode arrays,” Journal of Neural Engineering, 2019.


Abstract Objective. Implanted microelectrodes provide a unique means to directly interface with the nervous system, but have been limited by the lack of stable functionality. There is growing evidence suggesting that substantially reducing the mechanical rigidity of neural electrodes promotes tissue compatibility and improves their recording stability in both short- and long-terms. However, the miniaturized dimensions and ultraflexibility desired for mitigating tissue responses preclude the probe’s self-supported penetration into the brain tissue. Approach. Here we demonstrate the high-throughput implantation of multi-shank ultraflexible neural electrode arrays with surgical footprints as small as 200 µm2 in a mouse model. This is achieved by using arrays of tungsten microwires as shuttle devices, and bio-dissolvable adhesive polyethylene glycol (PEG) to temporarily attach a shank onto each microwire. Main results. We show the ability to simultaneously deliver electrode arrays in designed patterns, to adjust the implantation locations of the shanks by need, to target different brain structures, and to control the surgical injury by reducing the microwire diameters to the cellular scale. Significance. These results provide a facile implantation method to apply ultraflexible neural probes in scalable neural recording.


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