Feasibility of nitrogen doped ultrananocrystalline diamond microelectrodes for electrophysiological recording from neural tissue

Yan T. Wong, Arman Ahnood, Matias I. Maturana, William Kentler, Kumaravelu Ganesan, David B. Grayden, Hamish Meffin, Steven Prawer, Michael R. Ibbotson, Anthony N. Burkitt

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Neural prostheses that can monitor the physiological state of a subject are becoming clinically viable through improvements in the capacity to record from neural tissue. However, a significant limitation of current devices is that it is difficult to fabricate electrode arrays that have both high channel counts and the appropriate electrical properties required for neural recordings. In earlier work, we demonstrated nitrogen doped ultrananocrystalline diamond (N-UNCD) can provide efficacious electrical stimulation of neural tissue, with high charge injection capacity, surface stability and biocompatibility. In this work, we expand on this functionality to show that N-UNCD electrodes can also record from neural tissue owing to its low electrochemical impedance. We show that N-UNCD electrodes are highly flexible in their application, with successful recordings of action potentials from single neurons in an in vitro retina preparation, as well as local field potential responses from in vivo visual cortex tissue. Key properties of N-UNCD films, combined with scalability of electrode array fabrication with custom sizes for recording or stimulation along with integration through vertical interconnects to silicon based integrated circuits, may in future form the basis for the fabrication of versatile closed-loop neural prostheses that can both record and stimulate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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