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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2012 Jul;59(7):2085-94. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2196274.

A flexible depth probe using liquid crystal polymer.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Inter-University Semiconductor Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-744, Korea.


We proposed a method of making a flexible depth-type neural probe using liquid crystal polymer. Conventional depth neural probes made of metal or silicon have the limitations of a single recording site per shank or the brittleness of the silicon substrate. To avoid these drawbacks, polymer-based depth neural probes have been developed with biocompatible polymers such as polyimides or parylenes. However, those have suffered from the difficulty of inserting the probes into brain tissues due to their high flexibility, requiring mechanical reinforcements. Herein, we report the first attempt to use a flexible material, liquid crystal polymer (LCP), as a substrate for a depth-type neural probe. The LCP-based probe offers a controllable stiffness vs. flexibility and compatibility with thin-film processes in addition to its inherent characteristics such as high reliability and biocompatibility. In the present study, an LCP neural probe was fabricated to have enough stiffness to penetrate the dura mater of rodent brains without a guide tool or additional reinforcement structures. A simultaneous multichannel neural recording was successfully achieved from the somatosensory motor cortex of the rodents. Immunohistochemistry showed that the electrodes could be inserted into the desired regions in the brain.

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