Criteria for the selection of materials for implanted electrodes

Ann Biomed Eng. Jul-Aug 2003;31(7):879-90. doi: 10.1114/1.1581292.


There are four criteria that must be considered when choosing material for an implanted electrode: (1) tissue response, (2) allergic response, (3) electrode-tissue impedance, and (4) radiographic visibility. This paper discusses these four criteria and identifies the materials that are the best candidates for such electrodes. For electrodes that make ohmic contact with tissues: gold, platinum, platinum-iridium, tungsten, and tantalum are good candidates. The preferred insulating materials are polyimide and glass. The characteristics of stimulator output circuits and the importance of the bidirectional waveform in relation to electrode decomposition are discussed. The paper concludes with an analysis, the design criteria, and the special properties and materials for capacitive recording and stimulating electrodes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Electrodes, Implanted / adverse effects
  • Electrodes, Implanted / classification*
  • Electrophysiology / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Materials Testing*
  • Microelectrodes / adverse effects
  • Microelectrodes / classification*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical*


  • Biocompatible Materials