Partially flexible MEMS neural probe composed of polyimide and sucrose gel for reducing brain damage during and after implantation
- Partially flexible MEMS neural probe composed of polyimide and sucrose gel for reducing brain damage during and after implantation
- 전명건; 조제원; 김윤경; 정다희; 윤의성; 신세현; 조일주
- Flexible probe; MEMS Neural probe; Polyimide; Sucrose gel; Neuron damage
- Issue Date
- Journal of micromechanics and microengineering
- VOL 24, NO 2, 025010-1-025010-10
- 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.
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