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Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 12;8(1):4375. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22545-w.

Electrochemical Evaluations of Fractal Microelectrodes for Energy Efficient Neurostimulation.

Author information

1
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Center for Implantable Devices, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
2
Division of Biology, Chemistry and Materials Science; Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, White Oak Federal Research Center, Silver Spring, MD, USA.
3
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Center for Implantable Devices, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. hwlee@purdue.edu.

Abstract

Advancements in microfabrication has enabled manufacturing of microscopic neurostimulation electrodes with smaller footprint than ever possible. The smaller electrodes can potentially reduce tissue damage and allow better spatial resolution for neural stimulation. Although electrodes of any shape can easily be fabricated, substantial effort have been focused on identification and characterization of new materials and surface morphology for efficient charge injection, while maintaining simple circular or rectangular Euclidean electrode geometries. In this work we provide a systematic electrochemical evaluation of charge injection capacities of serpentine and fractal-shaped platinum microelectrodes and compare their performance with traditional circular microelectrodes. Our findings indicate that the increase in electrode perimeter leads to an increase in maximum charge injection capacity. Furthermore, we found that the electrode geometry can have even more significant impact on electrode performance than having a larger perimeter for a given surface area. The fractal-shaped microelectrodes, despite having smaller perimeter than other designs, demonstrated superior charge injection capacity. Our results suggest that electrode design can significantly affect both Faradaic and non-Faradaic electrochemical processes, which may be optimized to enable a more energy efficient design for neurostimulation.

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