Electrochemical and biological properties are two crucial criteria in the selection of the materials to be used as electrodes for neural interfaces. For neural stimulation, materials are required to exhibit high capacitance and to form intimate contact with neurons for eliciting effective neural responses at acceptably low voltages. Here we report on a new high capacitance material fabricated using nitrogen included ultrananocrystalline diamond (N-UNCD). After exposure to oxygen plasma for 3 h, the activated N-UNCD exhibited extremely high electrochemical capacitance greater than 1 mF/cm2, which originates from the special hybrid sp2/sp3 structure of N-UNCD. The in vitro biocompatibility of the activated N-UNCD was then assessed using rat cortical neurons and surface roughness was found to be critical for healthy neuron growth, with best results observed on surfaces with a roughness of approximately 20 nm. Therefore, by using oxygen plasma activated N-UNCD with appropriate surface roughness, and considering the chemical and mechanical stability of diamond, the fabricated neural interfaces are expected to exhibit high efficacy, long-term stability and a healthy neuron/electrode interface.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2016|
- Electrochemical capacitance
- Neuron growth
- Nitrogen included ultrananocrystalline diamond
- Oxygen plasma
- Retinal implant