Rapid prototyping of flexible intrafascicular electrode arrays by picosecond laser structuring

Matthias Mueller, Natalia De La Oliva, Jaume Del Valle, Ignacio Delgado-Martinez, Xavier Navarro, Thomas Stieglitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd. Objective. Interfacing the peripheral nervous system can be performed with a large variety of electrode arrays. However, stimulating and recording a nerve while having a reasonable amount of channels limits the number of available systems. Translational research towards human clinical trial requires device safety and biocompatibility but would benefit from design flexibility in the development process to individualize probes. Approach. We selected established medical grade implant materials like precious metals and Parylene C to develop a rapid prototyping process for novel intrafascicular electrode arrays using a picosecond laser structuring. A design for a rodent animal model was developed in conjunction with an intrafascicular implantation strategy. Electrode characterization and optimization was performed first in saline solution in vitro before performance and biocompatibility were validated in sciatic nerves of rats in chronic implantation. Main results. The novel fabrication process proved to be suitable for prototyping and building intrafascicular electrode arrays. Electrochemical properties of the electrode sites were enhanced and tested for long-term stability. Chronic implantation in the sciatic nerve of rats showed good biocompatibility, selectivity and stable stimulation thresholds. Significance. Established medical grade materials can be used for intrafascicular nerve electrode arrays when laser structuring defines structure size in the micro-scale. Design flexibility reduces re-design cycle time and material certificates are beneficial support for safety studies on the way to clinical trials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Parylene C
  • electrode
  • interface
  • laser fabrication
  • neural prostheses
  • peripheral nerve

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