A Direct Comparison of Glassy Carbon and PEDOT-PSS Electrodes for High Charge Injection and Low Impedance Neural Interfaces
For neural applications, materials able to interface with the brain without harming it while recording high-fidelity signals over long-term implants are still sought after. Glassy Carbon (GC) and Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT-PSS) have proved to be promising materials for neural interfaces as they show – compared to conventional metal electrodes - higher conductivity, better electrochemical stability, very good mechanical properties and therefore seem to be very promising for in vivo applications. We present here, for the first time, a direct comparison between GC and PEDOT-PSS microelectrodes in terms of biocompatibility, electrical and electrochemical properties as well as in vivo recording capabilities, using electrocorticography microelectrode arrays located on flexible polyimide substrate. The GC microelectrodes were fabricated using a traditional negative lithography processes followed by pyrolysis. PEDOT-PSS was selectively electrodeposited on the desired electrodes. Electrochemical performance of the two materials was evaluated through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Biocompatibility was assessed through in-vitro studies evaluating cultured cells viability. The in vivo performance of the GC and PEDOT-PSS electrodes was directly compared by simultaneously recording neuronal activity during somatosensory stimulation in Long-Evans rats. We found that both GC and PEDOT-PSS electrodes outperform metals in terms of electrochemical performance and allow to obtain excellent recordings of somatosensory evoked potentials from the rat brain surface. Furthermore, we found that both GC and PEDOT-PSS substrates are highly biocompatible, confirming that they are safe for neural interface applications.
M. Vomero et al., "A Direct Comparison of Glassy Carbon and PEDOT-PSS Electrodes for High Charge Injection and Low Impedance Neural Interfaces", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 102, pp. 68-76, 2017