Development and characterization of in vivo flexible electrodes compatible with large tissue displacements

J Neural Eng. 2009 Apr;6(2):024002. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/6/2/024002. Epub 2009 Mar 2.


Electrical activity is the ultimate functional measure of neuronal tissue and recording that activity remains a key technical challenge in neuroscience. The mechanical mismatch between rigid electrodes and compliant brain tissue is a critical limitation in applications where movement is an inherent component. An electrode that permits recording of neural activity, while minimizing tissue disruption, is beneficial for applications that encompass both normal physiological movements and those which require consistent recording during large tissue displacements. In order to test the extreme of this range of movement, flexible electrodes were developed to record activity during and immediately following cortical impact in the rat. Photolithography techniques were used to fabricate flexible electrodes that were readily insertable into the brain using a parylene C base and gold conduction lines and contact pads, permitting custom geometry. We found that this electrode configuration retained mechanical and electrical integrity following both durability studies and large movements within the cortex. This novel flexible electrode configuration provides a novel platform for experimentally examining neuronal activity during a range of brain movements.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Electrodes*
  • Equipment Design*
  • Gold Compounds
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pliability
  • Polymers
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Vibrissae / physiology
  • Xylenes


  • Gold Compounds
  • Polymers
  • Xylenes
  • parylene