Highly stable carbon nanotube doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) for chronic neural stimulation
The function and longevity of implantable microelectrodes for chronic neural stimulation depends heavily on the electrode materials, which need to present high charge injection capability and high stability. While conducting polymers have been coated on neural microelectrodes and shown promising properties for chronic stimulation, their practical applications have been limited due to unsatisfying stability. Here, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) doped with pure carbon nanotubes (CNTs) was electrochemically deposited on Pt microelectrodes to evaluate its properties for chronic stimulation. The PEDOT/CNT coated microelectrodes demonstrated much lower impedance than the bare Pt, and the PEDOT/CNT film exhibited excellent stability. For both acute and chronic stimulation tests, there is no significant increase in the impedance of the PEDOT/CNT coated microelectrodes, and none of the PEDOT/CNT films show any cracks or delamination, which have been the limitation for many conducting polymer coatings on neural electrodes. The charge injection limit of the Pt microelectrode was significantly increased to 2.5 mC/cm2 with the PEDOT/CNT coating. Further in vitro experiments also showed that the PEDOT/CNT coatings are non-toxic and support the growth of neurons. It is expected that this highly stable PEDOT/CNT composite may serve as excellent new material for neural electrodes.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 32, Issue 24, August 2011, Pages 5551–5557