Implanted neural stimulation and recording devices hold vast potential to treat a variety of neurological conditions, but the invasiveness, complexity, and cost of the implantation procedure greatly reduce access to an otherwise promising therapeutic approach. To address this need, a novel electrode that begins as an uncured, flowable prepolymer that can be injected around a neuroanatomical target to minimize surgical manipulation is developed. Referred to as the Injectrode, the electrode conforms to target structures forming an electrically conductive interface which is orders of magnitude less stiff than conventional neuromodulation electrodes. To validate the Injectrode, detailed electrochemical and microscopy characterization of its material properties is performed and the feasibility of using it to stimulate the nervous system electrically in rats and swine is validated. The silicone-metal-particle composite performs very similarly to pure wire of the same metal (silver) in all measures, including exhibiting a favorable cathodic charge storage capacity (CSCC ) and charge injection limits compared to the clinical LivaNova stimulation electrode and silver wire electrodes. By virtue of its simplicity, the Injectrode has the potential to be less invasive, more robust, and more cost-effective than traditional electrode designs, which could increase the adoption of neuromodulation therapies for existing and new indications.
Keywords: biomaterials; injectrodes; neural interfaces; neuromodulation; peripheral nerves.
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