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Article

Reliability of Neural Implants—Effective Method for Cleaning and Surface Preparation of Ceramics

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Laboratory for Biomedical Microtechnology, Department of Microsystems Engineering-IMTEK, University of Freiburg, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
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Electrochemical Energy Systems, Department of Microsystems Engineering-IMTEK, University of Freiburg, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
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Hahn-Schickard, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
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Neuroloop GmbH, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
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School of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
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FRESCO Fellow, Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS), University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
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Bernstein Center Freiburg, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
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BrainLinks-BrainTools, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Schiavone
Micromachines 2021, 12(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12020209
Received: 20 January 2021 / Revised: 16 February 2021 / Accepted: 17 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
Neural implants provide effective treatment and diagnosis options for diseases where pharmaceutical therapies are missing or ineffective. These active implantable medical devices (AIMDs) are designed to remain implanted and functional over decades. A key factor for achieving reliability and longevity are cleaning procedures used during manufacturing to prevent failures associated with contaminations. The Implantable Devices Group (IDG) at University College London (UCL) pioneered an approach which involved a cocktail of reagents described as “Leslie’s soup”. This process proved to be successful but no extensive evaluation of this method and the cocktail’s ingredients have been reported so far. Our study addressed this gap by a comprehensive analysis of the efficacy of this cleaning method. Surface analysis techniques complemented adhesion strengths methods to identify residues of contaminants like welding flux, solder residues or grease during typical assembly processes. Quantitative data prove the suitability of “Leslie’s soup” for cleaning of ceramic components during active implant assembly when residual ionic contaminations were removed by further treatment with isopropanol and deionised water. Solder and flux contaminations were removed without further mechanical cleaning. The adhesive strength of screen-printed metalisation layers increased from 12.50 ± 3.83 MPa without initial cleaning to 21.71 ± 1.85 MPa. We conclude that cleaning procedures during manufacturing of AIMDs, especially the understanding of applicability and limitations, is of central importance for their reliable and longevity. View Full-Text
Keywords: cleaning; Leslie’s soup; Teepol-L; isopropanol; deionised (DI) water; ceramic; contaminations; grease; flux; solder cleaning; Leslie’s soup; Teepol-L; isopropanol; deionised (DI) water; ceramic; contaminations; grease; flux; solder
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kiele, P.; Hergesell, J.; Bühler, M.; Boretius, T.; Suaning, G.; Stieglitz, T. Reliability of Neural Implants—Effective Method for Cleaning and Surface Preparation of Ceramics. Micromachines 2021, 12, 209. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12020209

AMA Style

Kiele P, Hergesell J, Bühler M, Boretius T, Suaning G, Stieglitz T. Reliability of Neural Implants—Effective Method for Cleaning and Surface Preparation of Ceramics. Micromachines. 2021; 12(2):209. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12020209

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kiele, Patrick, Jan Hergesell, Melanie Bühler, Tim Boretius, Gregg Suaning, and Thomas Stieglitz. 2021. "Reliability of Neural Implants—Effective Method for Cleaning and Surface Preparation of Ceramics" Micromachines 12, no. 2: 209. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12020209

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