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ref: Salcman-1973.07 tags: Salcman MEA microelectrodes chronic recording glass cyanocrylate date: 12-29-2017 04:33 gmt revision:7 [6] [5] [4] [3] [2] [1] [head]

PMID-4708761 Design, Fabrication, and In Vivo Behavior of Chronic Recording Intracortical Microelectrodes

  • Teflon-coated 25um Pt-Ir (90/10)
  • Heat fuse this with a glass micropipette & backfill with cyanoacrylate. {1011}
    • Isobutyl acrylate is hydrolysed more slowly and hence is less toxic to the surronding tissue
    • cyanoacrylate is apparently biodegradable.
  • Durable, stable: one electrode displayed a single cortical spike (though not necessarily the same one) for more than 90 consecutive days.
  • unacceptably low impedance = 100K or less
  • Unit activity was present only 10-24H after surgery.
  • formal review of even older microelectrode studies.
  • 10nA should be 100x too small to have any effect on a platinum tip [17]
  • A seperable cell with a SNR of 3:1 would become lost if the electrode tip moved 15um away from a 20um soma.
    • "It becomes clear that the problem of holding single units for prolonged periods in the unrestrained animal is not achieved without considerable difficulty". Yet they think they have solved it.


Salcman, Michael and Bak, Martin J. Design, Fabrication, and In Vivo Behavior of Chronic Recording Intracortical Microelectrodes Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on BME-20 4 253 -260 (1973)

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ref: Salcman-1976.01 tags: Salcman electrodes recording chronic microelectrode array MEA original parylene date: 01-28-2013 22:18 gmt revision:8 [7] [6] [5] [4] [3] [2] [head]

PMID-1256090[0] A new chronic recording intracortical microelectrode

  • maintain that tethering is the rational way to go: it "re-establishes the normal biomechanics of the intact cranial vault". (Salcman 1972, 1973) {1010}
    • have model of electrode tip motion in response to brain-skull displacements (Goldstein and Salcman 1973) {1011}
      • Electrode would have a tip displacement of about 5um in response to a 1mm displacement of the electrode's point of entry into the skull.
      • Exponential dependence on recording amplitude and distance (Rall, 1962). Gradient: 7.5uv/um; movements of more than 1-2um can radically alter the recordnig shape.
      • Probably our electrodes work because the dura & gliosis becomes firmly attached to the electrode shafts.
    • not really an array so much as a number (10-12) of single-unit electrodes.
  • Details the process of parylene-C deposition, electrode microwelding, etc. Pretty cool stuff -- what has happened to this technology?
  • Each bubble is glued with cyanocrylate to the pia. (they too question the safety of this).
  • arrays can be manually inserted via forceps.
  • 25um iridium wire electroplated in 1-2um of gold
    • then electo-etched until the desired tip geometry is achieved, 1-3um diameter
    • and vacuum coated in 3um of parylene-C.
    • Impedance 1-2M with a 1kHz sine wave at 10nA. Impedance is inversely related to the frequency of the test current, phase angle of 70-80deg.
      • Ref Robinson, 1968.
    • We must emphasize the extreme sensitivity of electrode measurements to the test conditions. Measured values of Z e are usually increased 1-3M when the electrode has been stored away for a few days. Removing the electrode from the test bath for a few minutes in air can lead to equally large increases when the electrode is tested upon remersion. [...] might be oxide.
    • Pinholes are the usual failure mechanism (KD Wise 2004), {149}; parylene is 'pinhole-free'.
  • The connecting 25um Au lead is very flexible and imposes little stress on the iridium electrode.
    • Connecting wire coated in 12um of parylene C
    • Would prefer even finer wire, 12um.
  • Perspex window over the craniotomy; had a vent in this window which they could open.
  • Opening the vent would cause the brain to pulse, moving the electrodes through the cortex and changing neural activity.
  • Size of an electrode is limited by ability to introduce it into the brain.
    • Electrode must be introduced through the pia; as the pial vessels supply the cortex (or drain the cortex).
    • For their electrodes, P crit=0.9g ; the force necessary to penetrate the pia is 0.05 - 0.2g.
  • pure iridium is stiffer than Pt-Ir by a factor of 3 or so. (521 G N/m^2 = 521 GPa, higher than tungsten, which is 400 Gpa)
    • Pure iridium is apparently the stiffest metallic element ref
  • Interesting: "Once again we are impressed by the fact that passive recording electrodes exhibit drops in impedance in the living system which they never show on in vitro testing in protein solutions at 37C.
    • Between 40 and 50 days, a slow downward trend becomes noticeable; this trend continues for the life of the animal and asymptotically approaches values below 500k. Electrodes still record.
    • See {999}
    • Surmise that pure iridium electrodes have a different metal-electrolyte interface than more conventional metals (Pl and W).
  • Mention that the ultimate purpose is for a neural prosthesis.
    • Their then use was for recordings from M1 in monkeys and V1 from cats. (Schmidt, Bak, McIntosh 1974)
  • Ref Wise et al {1012}.


[0] Salcman M, Bak MJ, A new chronic recording intracortical microelectrode.Med Biol Eng 14:1, 42-50 (1976 Jan)