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Predicting neural recording performance of implantable electrodes

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Recordings of neural activity can be used to aid communication, control prosthetic devices or alleviate disease symptoms. Chronic recordings require a high signal-to-noise ratio that is stable for years. Current cortical devices generally fail within months to years after implantation. Development of novel devices to increase lifetime requires valid testing protocols and a knowledge of the critical parameters controlling electrophysiological performance. Here we present electrochemical and electrophysiological protocols for assessing implantable electrodes. Biological noise from neural recording has significant impact on signal-to-noise ratio. A recently developed surgical approach was utilised to reduce biological noise. This allowed correlation of electrochemical and electrophysiological behaviour. The impedance versus frequency of modified electrodes was non-linear. It was found that impedance at low frequencies was a stronger predictor of electrophysiological performance than the typically reported impedance at 1 kHz. Low frequency impedance is a function of electrode area, and a strong correlation of electrode area with electrophysiological response was also seen. Use of these standardised testing protocols will allow future devices to be compared before transfer to preclinical and clinical trials.

Graphical abstract: Predicting neural recording performance of implantable electrodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Nov 2018, accepted on 12 Mar 2019 and first published on 14 Mar 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8AN02214C
Citation: Analyst, 2019, Advance Article

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    Predicting neural recording performance of implantable electrodes

    A. R. Harris, B. J. Allitt and A. G. Paolini, Analyst, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8AN02214C

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