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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2009 Jan;56(1):23-9. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2008.2002155.

Encapsulation of an integrated neural interface device with Parylene C.

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  • 1Department ofMaterials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Electronic neural interfaces have been developed to restore function to the nervous system for patients with neural disorders. A conformal and chronically stable dielectric encapsulation is required to protect the neural interface device from the harsh physiological environment and localize the active electrode tips. Chemical vapor deposited Parylene-C films were studied as a potential implantable dielectric encapsulation material using impedance spectroscopy and leakage current measurements. Both tests were performed in 37 degrees C saline solution, and showed that the films provided an electrically insulating encapsulation for more than one year. Isotropic and anisotropic oxygen plasma etching processes were compared for removing the Parylene-C insulation to expose the active electrode tips. Also, the relationship between tip exposure and electrode impedance was determined. The conformity and the uniformity of the Parylene-C coating were assessed using optical microscopy, and small thickness variations on the complex 3-D electrode arrays were observed. Parylene C was found to provide encapsulation and electrical insulation required for such neural interface devices for more than one year. Also, oxygen plasma etching was found to be an effective method to etch and pattern Parylene-C films.

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