Flexible, Penetrating Brain Probes Enabled by Advances in Polymer Microfabrication
AbstractThe acquisition of high-fidelity, long-term neural recordings in vivo is critically important to advance neuroscience and brain–machine interfaces. For decades, rigid materials such as metal microwires and micromachined silicon shanks were used as invasive electrophysiological interfaces to neurons, providing either single or multiple electrode recording sites. Extensive research has revealed that such rigid interfaces suffer from gradual recording quality degradation, in part stemming from tissue damage and the ensuing immune response arising from mechanical mismatch between the probe and brain. The development of “soft” neural probes constructed from polymer shanks has been enabled by advancements in microfabrication; this alternative has the potential to mitigate mismatch-related side effects and thus improve the quality of recordings. This review examines soft neural probe materials and their associated microfabrication techniques, the resulting soft neural probes, and their implementation including custom implantation and electrical packaging strategies. The use of soft materials necessitates careful consideration of surgical placement, often requiring the use of additional surgical shuttles or biodegradable coatings that impart temporary stiffness. Investigation of surgical implantation mechanics and histological evidence to support the use of soft probes will be presented. The review concludes with a critical discussion of the remaining technical challenges and future outlook. View Full-Text
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Weltman, A.; Yoo, J.; Meng, E. Flexible, Penetrating Brain Probes Enabled by Advances in Polymer Microfabrication. Micromachines 2016, 7, 180.
Weltman A, Yoo J, Meng E. Flexible, Penetrating Brain Probes Enabled by Advances in Polymer Microfabrication. Micromachines. 2016; 7(10):180.Chicago/Turabian Style
Weltman, Ahuva; Yoo, James; Meng, Ellis. 2016. "Flexible, Penetrating Brain Probes Enabled by Advances in Polymer Microfabrication." Micromachines 7, no. 10: 180.
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