Carbon-Nanotube Microelectrodes for Neuroscience Applications

N.T. Alvarez, E. Bushbeck, A. Ford, I. Vilinsky, V. Shanov, A. Stowasser
University of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Keywords: Neuroscience, biomedical, nanomaterials, micro electrodes

Microelectrodes suitable for physiological applications such as recording extracellular activity of targeted groups of neurons is critical for neuroscience research and clinical applications, as is the ability to stimulate neurons in a targeted fashion. For example, current treatments for many brain related diseases, like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, rely on permanent brain implants of microelectrodes for extended periods of time. Despite the importance of these technologies, they are currently limited by lack of flexible, biocompatible and reliable electrodes. This poster will report the use of a bottom-up approach that allows us to combine nano-size carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into macroscopic fibers as flexible electrodes that can be adjusted to application-specific requirements. Electroretinogram (ERG) for signal recording and electrical stimulation employing CNT fibers as implant will be reported. These CNT fibers are coated with biocompatible polymers and their stiffness can be tuned a priori for future application in neuroscience and implants to prevent damaging brain tissue. This approach will minimize perpetual mechanical trauma that otherwise exists from constant motion between the probe and surrounding tissue.