Chronic neural recordings using silicon microelectrode arrays electrochemically deposited with a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) film

J Neural Eng. 2006 Mar;3(1):59-70. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/3/1/007. Epub 2006 Mar 1.


Conductive polymer coatings can be used to modify traditional electrode recording sites with the intent of improving the long-term performance of cortical microelectrodes. Conductive polymers can drastically decrease recording site impedance, which in turn is hypothesized to reduce thermal noise and signal loss through shunt pathways. Moreover, conductive polymers can be seeded with agents aimed at promoting neural growth toward the recording sites or minimizing the inherent immune response. The end goal of these efforts is to generate an ideal long-term interface between the recording electrode and surrounding tissue. The goal of this study was to refine a method to electrochemically deposit surfactant-templated ordered poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) films on the recording sites of standard 'Michigan' probes and to evaluate the efficacy of these modified sites in recording chronic neural activity. PEDOT-coated site performance was compared to control sites over a six-week evaluation period in terms of impedance spectroscopy, signal-to-noise ratio, number of viable unit potentials recorded and local field potential recordings. PEDOT sites were found to outperform control sites with respect to signal-to-noise ratio and number of viable unit potentials. The benefit of reduced initial impedance, however, was mitigated by the impedance contribution of typical silicon electrode encapsulation. Coating sites with PEDOT also reduced the amount of low-frequency drift evident in local field potential recordings. These findings indicate that electrode sites electrochemically deposited with PEDOT films are suitable for recording neural activity in vivo for extended periods. This study also provided a unique opportunity to monitor how neural recording characteristics develop over the six weeks following implantation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / chemistry*
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Male
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Silicon / chemistry
  • Time Factors


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Polymers
  • poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene)
  • Silicon