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Macromol Mater Eng. 2012 Dec 1;297(12):1193-1202.

Three-Dimensional Flexible Electronics Enabled by Shape Memory Polymer Substrates for Responsive Neural Interfaces.

Author information

1
Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.
4
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.
5
Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.
6
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.

Abstract

Planar electronics processing methods have enabled neural interfaces to become more precise and deliver more information. However, this processing paradigm is inherently 2D and rigid. The resulting mechanical and geometrical mismatch at the biotic-abiotic interface can elicit an immune response that prevents effective stimulation. In this work, a thiol-ene/acrylate shape memory polymer is utilized to create 3D softening substrates for stimulation electrodes. This substrate system is shown to soften in vivo from more than 600 to 6 MPa. A nerve cuff electrode that coils around the vagus nerve in a rat and that drives neural activity is demonstrated.

KEYWORDS:

flexible electronics; neural interfaces; shape memory polymers; stimuli-sensitive polymers; thermosets

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