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Biocompatible coatings for implantable polymer-based multielectrode arrays


Biocompatible coatings for implantable polymer-based multielectrode arrays

Project Description

An engineered biomolecular interface between implantable biomedical microdevices and the surrounding tissue is one of the key issues for long-term implant functionality. Chronic deep-brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease is one of the most well-known therapies for neural disorders. Chronic recording from the motor cortex in primates has already shown that such signals can be used to control devices such as robot limbs. Implantable electrodes for recording or stimulation have traditionally consisted of microwire arrays. More recently, the advent of microfabrication technology has led to the development of silicon-based arrays, permitting the mass production of neural probes with precise electrode spacing. However, the mechanical mismatch between these rigid probe and the soft tissue is thought to be an aggravating factor in the inflammation at the implantation site, encouraging the formation of a glial scar which encapsulates the probe with time. This fibrous tissue isolates the probe electrically from the surrounding neural tissue, leading to loss of probe function. A flexible polymer-based microelectrode array promises to reduce this inflammation. Coating the implant with a biodegradable polymer or hydrogel, which releases an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory agent, neural growth factor, or other bioactive molecule will mitigate tissue reaction to the implanted device.

Faculty Supervisor(s)




Research Area(s)

    Biomedical Engineering