High density penetrating electrode arrays for autonomic nerves

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug:2016:2802-2805. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591312.


Electrode arrays for recording and stimulation in the central nervous system have enabled numerous advances in basic science and therapeutic strategies. In particular, micro-fabricated arrays with precision size and spacing offer the benefit of accessing single neurons and permit mapping of neuronal function. Similar advances are envisioned toward understanding the autonomic nervous system and developing therapies based on its modulation, but appropriate electrode arrays are lacking. Here, we present for the first time, a multi-channel electrode array suitable for penetration of peripheral nerves having diameters as small as 0.1mm, and demonstrate performance in vivo. These arrays have the potential to access multiple discrete nerve fibers in small nerves. We fabricated and characterized five-channel arrays and obtained preliminary recordings of activity when penetrating rat carotid sinus nerve. The electrodes were constructed using hybrid microfabrication processes. The individual electrode shafts are as small as 0.01mm in diameter and at its tip each has a defined site that is addressable via a standard electronic connector. In addition to acute in vivo results, we evaluate the device by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Having established the fabrication method, our next steps are to incorporate the arrays into an implantable configuration for chronic studies, and here we further describe concepts for such a device.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Pathways / cytology
  • Autonomic Pathways / physiology*
  • Carotid Sinus / innervation
  • Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Microelectrodes
  • Microtechnology / instrumentation*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Rats