Identification and quantification of electrical leakage pathways in floating microelectrode arrays

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013;2013:1542-5. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6609807.


The long-term reliability of neural recording and stimulation electrode arrays is becoming the limiting factor for neural interfaces. For effective electrode design, electrical connection to the surrounding neural tissue and fluid should be limited to the electrode tips, with all other leakage currents minimized. It is the goal of this study to identify and quantify electrical leakage within commercially available floating microelectrode arrays (FMAs). Both short term and accelerated stress tests were performed on entire FMAs, as well as on individual electrodes typical of such arrays. Preliminary results of these tests indicate that leakage currents are present due to water penetration of their insulation layer initially, but that prolonged water exposure at high temperature may seal the defects that cause these currents. SEM photos taken of the electrode shafts show extensive defect regions that may correlate with the test data.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Electricity*
  • Microelectrodes
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Water


  • Water