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Sensors (Basel). 2019 Mar 2;19(5). pii: E1069. doi: 10.3390/s19051069.

Recent Progress on Non-Conventional Microfabricated Probes for the Chronic Recording of Cortical Neural Activity.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Korea.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
Institute on Aging, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.


Microfabrication technology for cortical interfaces has advanced rapidly over the past few decades for electrophysiological studies and neuroprosthetic devices offering the precise recording and stimulation of neural activity in the cortex. While various cortical microelectrode arrays have been extensively and successfully demonstrated in animal and clinical studies, there remains room for further improvement of the probe structure, materials, and fabrication technology, particularly for high-fidelity recording in chronic implantation. A variety of non-conventional probes featuring unique characteristics in their designs, materials and fabrication methods have been proposed to address the limitations of the conventional standard shank-type ("Utah-" or "Michigan-" type) devices. Such non-conventional probes include multi-sided arrays to avoid shielding and increase recording volumes, mesh- or thread-like arrays for minimized glial scarring and immune response, tube-type or cylindrical probes for three-dimensional (3D) recording and multi-modality, folded arrays for high conformability and 3D recording, self-softening or self-deployable probes for minimized tissue damage and extensions of the recording sites beyond gliosis, nanostructured probes to reduce the immune response, and cone-shaped electrodes for promoting tissue ingrowth and long-term recording stability. Herein, the recent progress with reference to the many different types of non-conventional arrays is reviewed while highlighting the challenges to be addressed and the microfabrication techniques necessary to implement such features.


MEMS; chronic recording; neural probe

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