Partially flexible MEMS neural probe composed of polyimide and sucrose gel for reducing brain damage during and after implantation

Title
Partially flexible MEMS neural probe composed of polyimide and sucrose gel for reducing brain damage during and after implantation
Authors
전명건조제원김윤경정다희윤의성신세현조일주
Keywords
Flexible probe; MEMS Neural probe; Polyimide; Sucrose gel; Neuron damage
Issue Date
2014-02
Publisher
Journal of micromechanics and microengineering
Citation
VOL 24, NO 2, 025010-1-025010-10
Abstract
This paper presents a flexible microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) neural probe that minimizes neuron damage and immune response, suitable for chronic recording applications. MEMS neural probes with various features such as high electrode densities have been actively investigated for neuron stimulation and recording to study brain functions. However, successful recording of neural signals in chronic application using rigid silicon probes still remains challenging because of cell death and macrophages accumulated around the electrodes over time from continuous brain movement. Thus, in this paper, we propose a new flexible MEMS neural probe that consists of two segments: a polyimide-based, flexible segment for connection and a rigid segment composed of thin silicon for insertion. While the flexible connection segment is designed to reduce the long-term chronic neuron damage, the thin insertion segment is designed to minimize the brain damage during the insertion process. The proposed flexible neural probe was successfully fabricated using the MEMS process on a silicon on insulator wafer. For a successful insertion, a biodegradable sucrose gel is coated on the flexible segment to temporarily increase the probe stiffness to prevent buckling. After the insertion, the sucrose gel dissolves inside the brain exposing the polyimide probe. By performing an insertion test, we confirm that the flexible probe has enough stiffness. In addition, by monitoring immune responses and brain histology, we successfully demonstrate that the proposed flexible neural probe incurs fivefold less neural damage than that incurred by a conventional silicon neural probe. Therefore, the presented flexible neural probe is a promising candidate for recording stable neural signals for long-time chronic applications.
URI
http://pubs.kist.re.kr/handle/201004/47099
ISSN
09601317
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KIST Publication > Article
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