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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:2062-5. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5334429.

Titanium-based multi-channel, micro-electrode array for recording neural signals.

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Mechanical Engineering Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA.


Micro-scale brain-machine interface (BMI) devices have provided an opportunity for direct probing of neural function and have also shown significant promise for restoring neurological functions lost to stroke, injury, or disease. However, the eventual clinical translation of such devices may be hampered by limitations associated with the materials commonly used for their fabrication, e.g. brittleness of silicon, insufficient rigidity of polymeric devices, and unproven chronic biocompatibility of both. Herein, we report, for the first time, the development of titanium-based "Michigan" type multi-channel, microelectrode arrays that seek to address these limitations. Titanium provides unique properties of immediate relevance to microelectrode arrays, such as high toughness, moderate modulus, and excellent biocompatibility, which may enhance structural reliability, safety, and chronic recording reliability. Realization of these devices is enabled by recently developed techniques which provide the opportunity for fabrication of high aspect ratio micromechanical structures in bulk titanium substrates. Details regarding the design, fabrication, and characterization of these devices for eventual use in rat auditory cortex and thalamus recordings are presented, as are preliminary results.

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