In Vivo Impedance Characterization of Cortical Recording Electrodes Shows Dependence on Electrode Location and Size

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2019 Mar;66(3):675-681. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2018.2854623. Epub 2018 Jul 10.


Objective: Neural prostheses are improving the quality of life for those suffering from neurological impairments. Electrocorticography electrodes located in subdural, epidural, and intravascular positions show promise as long-term neural prostheses. However, chronic implantation affects the electrochemical environments of these arrays.

Methods: In the present work, the effect of electrode location on the electrochemical properties of the interface was compared. The impedances of the electrode arrays were measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in vitro in saline and in vivo four-week postimplantation.

Results: There was not a significant effect of electrode location (subdural, intravascular, or epidural) on the impedance magnitude, and the effect of the electrode size on the impedance magnitude was frequency dependent. There was a frequency-dependent statistically significant effect of electrode location and electrode size on the phase angles of the three arrays. The subdural and epidural arrays showed phase shifts closer to -90° indicating the capacitive nature of the interface in these locations. The impact of placing electrodes within a blood vessel and adjacent to the blood vessel wall was most obvious when looking at the phase responses at frequencies below 10 kHz.

Conclusion: Our results show that intravascular electrodes, like those in subdural and epidural positions, show electrical properties that are suitable for recording. These results provide support for the use of intravascular arrays in clinically relevant neural prostheses and diagnostic devices.

Significance: Comparison of electrochemical impedance of the epidural, intravascular, and subdural electrode array showed that all three locations are possible placement options, since impedances are in comparable ranges.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology
  • Dielectric Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Epidural Space / physiology
  • Neural Prostheses*
  • Sheep