In JoVE (2)

Other Publications (22)

Articles by Kevin J. Otto in JoVE

Other articles by Kevin J. Otto on PubMed

Single Electrode Micro-stimulation of Rat Auditory Cortex: an Evaluation of Behavioral Performance

Hearing Research. May, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12742239

A combination of electrophysiological mapping, behavioral analysis and cortical micro-stimulation was used to explore the interrelation between the auditory cortex and behavior in the adult rat. Auditory discriminations were evaluated in eight rats trained to discriminate the presence or absence of a 75 dB pure tone stimulus. A probe trial technique was used to obtain intensity generalization gradients that described response probabilities to mid-level tones between 0 and 75 dB. The same rats were then chronically implanted in the auditory cortex with a 16 or 32 channel tungsten microwire electrode array. Implanted animals were then trained to discriminate the presence of single electrode micro-stimulation of magnitude 90 microA (22.5 nC/phase). Intensity generalization gradients were created to obtain the response probabilities to mid-level current magnitudes ranging from 0 to 90 microA on 36 different electrodes in six of the eight rats. The 50% point (the current level resulting in 50% detections) varied from 16.7 to 69.2 microA, with an overall mean of 42.4 (+/-8.1) microA across all single electrodes. Cortical micro-stimulation induced sensory-evoked behavior with similar characteristics as normal auditory stimuli. The results highlight the importance of the auditory cortex in a discrimination task and suggest that micro-stimulation of the auditory cortex might be an effective means for a graded information transfer of auditory information directly to the brain as part of a cortical auditory prosthesis.

Cortical Microstimulation in Auditory Cortex of Rat Elicits Best-frequency Dependent Behaviors

Journal of Neural Engineering. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15928411

Electrical activation of the auditory cortex has been shown to elicit an auditory sensation; however, the perceptual effects of auditory cortical microstimulation delivered through penetrating microelectrodes have not been clearly elucidated. This study examines the relationship between electrical microstimulus location within the adult rat auditory cortex and the subsequent behavior induced. Four rats were trained on an auditory frequency discrimination task and their lever-pressing behavior in response to stimuli of intermediate auditory frequencies was quantified. Each trained rat was then implanted with a microwire array in the auditory cortex of the left hemisphere. Best frequencies (BFs) of each electrode in the array were determined by both local field potential and multi-unit spike-rate activity evoked by pure tone stimuli. A cross-dimensional psychophysical generalization paradigm was used to evaluate cortical microstimulation-induced behavior. Using the BFs of each electrode, the microstimulation-induced behavior was evaluated relative to the auditory-induced behavior. Microstimulation resulted in behavior that was dependent on the BFs of the electrodes used for stimulation. These results are consistent with recent reports indicating that electrophysiological recordings of neural responses to sensory stimuli may provide insight into the sensation generated by electrical stimulation of the same sensory neural tissue.

Naive Coadaptive Cortical Control

Journal of Neural Engineering. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15928412

The ability to control a prosthetic device directly from the neocortex has been demonstrated in rats, monkeys and humans. Here we investigate whether neural control can be accomplished in situations where (1) subjects have not received prior motor training to control the device (naive user) and (2) the neural encoding of movement parameters in the cortex is unknown to the prosthetic device (naive controller). By adopting a decoding strategy that identifies and focuses on units whose firing rate properties are best suited for control, we show that naive subjects mutually adapt to learn control of a neural prosthetic system. Six untrained Long-Evans rats, implanted with silicon micro-electrodes in the motor cortex, learned cortical control of an auditory device without prior motor characterization of the recorded neural ensemble. Single- and multi-unit activities were decoded using a Kalman filter to represent an audio "cursor" (90 ms tone pips ranging from 250 Hz to 16 kHz) which subjects controlled to match a given target frequency. After each trial, a novel adaptive algorithm trained the decoding filter based on correlations of the firing patterns with expected cursor movement. Each behavioral session consisted of 100 trials and began with randomized decoding weights. Within 7 +/- 1.4 (mean +/- SD) sessions, all subjects were able to significantly score above chance (P < 0.05, randomization method) in a fixed target paradigm. Training lasted 24 sessions in which both the behavioral performance and signal to noise ratio of the peri-event histograms increased significantly (P < 0.01, ANOVA). Two rats continued training on a more complex task using a bilateral, two-target control paradigm. Both subjects were able to significantly discriminate the target tones (P < 0.05, Z-test), while one subject demonstrated control above chance (P < 0.05, Z-test) after 12 sessions and continued improvement with many sessions achieving over 90% correct targets. Dynamic analysis of binary trial responses indicated that early learning for this subject occurred during session 6. This study demonstrates that subjects can learn to generate neural control signals that are well suited for use with external devices without prior experience or training.

Repeated Voltage Biasing Improves Unit Recordings by Reducing Resistive Tissue Impedances

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering : a Publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16003894

Reactive tissue encapsulation of chronically implanted microelectrode probes can preclude long-term recording of extracellular action potentials. We investigated an intervention strategy for functionally encapsulated microelectrode sites. This method, known as "rejuvenation," involved applying a +1.5 V dc bias to an iridium site for 4 s. Previous studies have demonstrated that rejuvenation resulted in higher signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) by decreasing noise levels, and reduced 1-kHz site impedances by decreasing the tissue interface resistances. In this study, we have investigated: 1) the duration of a single-voltage bias session and 2) the efficacy of multiple sessions. These questions were addressed through electrophysiological recordings, cyclic voltammetry, and modeling the electrode-tissue interface via an equivalent circuit model fit to impedance spectroscopy data. In the six implants studied, we found SNRs improved for 1-7 days with a peak typically occurring within 24 h of the voltage bias. Root-mean square (RMS) noise of the extracellular recordings decreased for 1-2 days, which paralleled a similar decrease in the adsorbed tissue resistance (Ren) from the model. Implants whose SNR effects lasted more than a day showed stabilized reductions in the extracellular tissue resistance (Rex) and cellular membrane area (Am). Subsequent stimulus sessions were found to drop neural tissue parameters consistently to levels observed immediately after surgery. In most cases, these changes did parallel an improvement in SNR. These findings suggest that rejuvenation may be a useful intervention strategy to prolong the lifetime of chronically implanted microelectrodes.

Microstimulation in Auditory Cortex Provides a Substrate for Detailed Behaviors

Hearing Research. Dec, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16209915

Sensory cortical prostheses have potential to aid people suffering from blindness, deafness and other sensory deficits. However, research to date has shown that sensation thresholds via epicortical stimulation are surprisingly large. These thresholds result in potentially deleterious electrical currents, as well as large activation volumes. Large activation volumes putatively limit the corresponding number of independent stimulation channels in a neural prosthesis. In this study, penetrating stimulation of the auditory cortex was tested for its ability to transmit salient information to behaving rat subjects. Here, we show that subjects that were previously trained to discriminate natural stimuli immediately discriminated different microstimulation cues more accurately and with shorter response latencies than the natural stimuli. Additionally, the cortical microstimulation resulted in a generalization gradient across locations within the cortex. The results demonstrate the efficacy of using closely spaced cortical microstimulation to efficiently transmit highly salient and discriminable information to a behaving subject.

Voltage Pulses Change Neural Interface Properties and Improve Unit Recordings with Chronically Implanted Microelectrodes

IEEE Transactions on Bio-medical Engineering. Feb, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16485763

Current neuroprosthetic systems based on electro-physiological recording have an extended, yet finite working lifetime. Some posited lifetime-extension solutions involve improving device biocompatibility or suppressing host immune responses. Our objective was to test an alternative solution comprised of applying a voltage pulse to a microelectrode site, herein termed "rejuvenation." Previously, investigators have reported preliminary electrophysiological results by utilizing a similar voltage pulse. In this study we sought to further explore this phenomenon via two methods: 1) electrophysiology; 2) an equivalent circuit model applied to impedance spectroscopy data. The experiments were conducted via chronically implanted silicon-substrate iridium microelectrode arrays in the rat cortex. Rejuvenation voltages resulted in increased unit recording signal-to-noise ratios (10% +/- 2%), with a maximal increase of 195% from 3.74 to 11.02. Rejuvenation also reduced the electrode site impedances at 1 kHz (67% +/- 2%). Neither the impedance nor recording properties of the electrodes changed on neighboring microelectrode sites that were not rejuvenated. In the equivalent circuit model, we found a transient increase in conductivity, the majority of which corresponded to a decrease in the tissue resistance component (44% +/- 7%). These findings suggest that rejuvenation may be an intervention strategy to prolong the functional lifetime of chronically implanted microelectrodes.

Optimization of Microelectrode Design for Cortical Recording Based on Thermal Noise Considerations

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17947023

Intracortical microelectrode recordings of neural activity show great promise as control signals for neuroprosthetic applications. However, faithful, consistent recording of single unit spiking activity with chronically implanted silicon-substrate microelectrode arrays has proven difficult. Many approaches seek to enhance the long-term performance of microelectrode arrays by, for example, increasing electrode biocompatibility, decreasing electrode impedance, or improving electrode interface properties through application of small voltage pulses. The purpose of this study was to use computational models to optimize the design of microelectrodes. We coupled detailed models of the neural source signal, silicon-substrate microelectrodes, and thermal noise to define the electrode contact size that maximized the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Model analysis combined a multi-compartment cable model of a layer V cortical pyramidal neuron with a 3D finite element model of the head and microelectrode to define the amplitude and time course of the recorded signal. A spatially-lumped impedance model was parameterized with in vitro and in vivo spectroscopy data and used to define thermal noise as a function of electrode contact size. Our results suggest that intracortical microelectrodes with a contact size of ~380 microm2 will provide an increased SNR in vivo and improve the long-term recording capabilities of silicon-substrate microelectrode arrays.

Thin-film Silica Sol-gel Coatings for Neural Microelectrodes

Journal of Neuroscience Methods. May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19427536

The reactive tissue response of the brain to chronically implanted materials remains a formidable obstacle to stable recording from implanted microelectrodes. One approach to mitigate this response is to apply a bioactive coating in the form of an ultra-porous silica sol-gel, which can be engineered to improve biocompatibility and to enable local drug delivery. The first step in establishing the feasibility of such a coating is to investigate the effects of the coating on electrode properties. In this paper, we describe a method to apply a thin-film silica sol-gel coating to silicon-based microelectrodes, and discuss the resultant changes in the electrode properties. Fluorescently labeled coatings were used to confirm coating adherence to the electrode. Cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy were used to evaluate electrical property changes. The silica sol-gel was found to successfully adhere to the electrodes as a thin coating. The voltammograms revealed a slight increase in charge carrying capacity of the electrodes following coating. Impedance spectrograms showed a mild increase in impedance at high frequencies but a more pronounced decrease in impedance at mid to low frequencies. These results demonstrate the feasibility of applying silica sol-gel coatings to silicon-based microelectrodes and are encouraging for the continued investigation of their use in mitigating the reactive tissue response.

Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) As a Micro-Neural Interface Material for Electrostimulation

Frontiers in Neuroengineering. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19543541

Chronic microstimulation-based devices are being investigated to treat conditions such as blindness, deafness, pain, paralysis, and epilepsy. Small-area electrodes are desired to achieve high selectivity. However, a major trade-off with electrode miniaturization is an increase in impedance and charge density requirements. Thus, the development of novel materials with lower interfacial impedance and enhanced charge storage capacity is essential for the development of micro-neural interface-based neuroprostheses. In this report, we study the use of conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) as a neural interface material for microstimulation of small-area iridium electrodes on silicon-substrate arrays. Characterized by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, electrodeposition of PEDOT results in lower interfacial impedance at physiologically relevant frequencies, with the 1 kHz impedance magnitude being 23.3 +/- 0.7 kOmega, compared to 113.6 +/- 3.5 kOmega for iridium oxide (IrOx) on 177 mum(2) sites. Further, PEDOT exhibits enhanced charge storage capacity at 75.6 +/- 5.4 mC/cm(2) compared to 28.8 +/- 0.3 mC/cm(2) for IrOx, characterized by cyclic voltammetry (50 mV/s). These improvements at the electrode interface were corroborated by observation of the voltage excursions that result from constant current pulsing. The PEDOT coatings provide both a lower amplitude voltage and a more ohmic representation of the applied current compared to IrOx. During repetitive pulsing, PEDOT-coated electrodes show stable performance and little change in electrical properties, even at relatively high current densities which cause IrOx instability. These findings support the potential of PEDOT coatings as a micro-neural interface material for electrostimulation.

Effects of Adsorbed Proteins, an Antifouling Agent and Long-duration DC Voltage Pulses on the Impedance of Silicon-based Neural Microelectrodes

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19963693

The successful use of implantable neural microelectrodes as neuroprosthetic devices depends on the mitigation of the reactive tissue response of the brain. One of the factors affecting the ultimate severity of the reactive tissue response and the in vivo electrical properties of the microelectrodes is the initial adsorption of proteins onto the surface of the implanted microelectrodes. In this study we quantify the increase in microelectrode impedance magnitude at physiological frequencies following electrode immersion in a 10% bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution. We also demonstrate the efficacy of a common antifouling molecule, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), in preventing a significant increase in microelectrode impedance. In addition, we show the feasibility of using long-duration DC voltage pulses to remove adsorbed proteins from the microelectrode surface.

Evaluation of Micro-electrocorticographic Electrodes for Electrostimulation

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19964123

Chronic neural recording and stimulation on the surface of the cortex with macroelectrodes has been shown to be promising for treating a wide range of neurological deficits. To enhance the specificity of these devices, dense arrangements of small area electrodes have been microfabricated for precise recording and control of neural populations. In this study micro-electrocorticographic (microECoG) electrodes were evaluated for electrostimulation. Surface modification with electrodeposited iridium oxide (EIrOx) resulted in lower impedance, higher charge carrying capacity, and lower, more linear voltage excursions during current controlled stimulation.

Titanium-based Multi-channel, Micro-electrode Array for Recording Neural Signals

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19964778

Micro-scale brain-machine interface (BMI) devices have provided an opportunity for direct probing of neural function and have also shown significant promise for restoring neurological functions lost to stroke, injury, or disease. However, the eventual clinical translation of such devices may be hampered by limitations associated with the materials commonly used for their fabrication, e.g. brittleness of silicon, insufficient rigidity of polymeric devices, and unproven chronic biocompatibility of both. Herein, we report, for the first time, the development of titanium-based "Michigan" type multi-channel, microelectrode arrays that seek to address these limitations. Titanium provides unique properties of immediate relevance to microelectrode arrays, such as high toughness, moderate modulus, and excellent biocompatibility, which may enhance structural reliability, safety, and chronic recording reliability. Realization of these devices is enabled by recently developed techniques which provide the opportunity for fabrication of high aspect ratio micromechanical structures in bulk titanium substrates. Details regarding the design, fabrication, and characterization of these devices for eventual use in rat auditory cortex and thalamus recordings are presented, as are preliminary results.

Investigation of the Material Properties of Alginate for the Development of Hydrogel Repair of Dura Mater

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. Jan, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21094477

The collagenous dura mater isolates the brain from the external environment and requires a secure closure following invasive neurosurgery. This is typically accomplished by approximation of the dura mater via sutures and adhesives. In selected cases, however, large portions of dura mater require excision, necessitating a tissue replacement patch. The mild reaction conditions and long-term biocompatibility of alginate evince strong candidacy for these applications. This study investigates the potential of diffusion and internally gelled alginates for these applications. Specifically, we quantified the viscosity, gel rate, syneresis level, compressive strength, compressive modulus, complex modulus and loss angle in the context of dura mater repair. The ideal sealant would have a rapid cross-link speed, while the ideal dura mater replacement would have a low level of syneresis. Both applications require a compressive modulus of 20-100 kPa and a complex modulus of 1-24 kPa. The data collected in this study suggests that the use of 1.95 wt% 43 mPa s alginate with 200 mM CaCl(2) is sufficient for approximating the dural membrane for closure alone or in conjunction with suture. Alternatively, the use of 1.95 wt% 43 mPa s alginate with 100 mM CaCO(3) is sufficient for tissue replacement in large dural defects.

Robust Penetrating Microelectrodes for Neural Interfaces Realized by Titanium Micromachining

Biomedical Microdevices. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21360044

Neural prosthetic interfaces based upon penetrating microelectrode devices have broadened our understanding of the brain and have shown promise for restoring neurological functions lost to disease, stroke, or injury. However, the eventual viability of such devices for use in the treatment of neurological dysfunction may be ultimately constrained by the intrinsic brittleness of silicon, the material most commonly used for manufacture of penetrating microelectrodes. This brittleness creates predisposition for catastrophic fracture, which may adversely affect the reliability and safety of such devices, due to potential for fragmentation within the brain. Herein, we report the development of titanium-based penetrating microelectrodes that seek to address this potential future limitation. Titanium provides advantage relative to silicon due to its superior fracture toughness, which affords potential for creation of robust devices that are resistant to catastrophic failure. Realization of these devices is enabled by recently developed techniques which provide opportunity for fabrication of high-aspect-ratio micromechanical structures in bulk titanium substrates. Details are presented regarding the design, fabrication, mechanical testing, in vitro functional characterization, and preliminary in vivo testing of devices intended for acute recording in rat auditory cortex and thalamus, both independently and simultaneously.

Theoretical Analysis of Intracortical Microelectrode Recordings

Journal of Neural Engineering. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21775783

Advanced fabrication techniques have now made it possible to produce microelectrode arrays for recording the electrical activity of a large number of neurons in the intact brain for both clinical and basic science applications. However, the long-term recording performance desired for these applications is hindered by a number of factors that lead to device failure or a poor signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The goal of this study was to identify factors that can affect recording quality using theoretical analysis of intracortical microelectrode recordings of single-unit activity. Extracellular microelectrode recordings were simulated with a detailed multi-compartment cable model of a pyramidal neuron coupled to a finite-element volume conductor head model containing an implanted recording microelectrode. Recording noise sources were also incorporated into the overall modeling infrastructure. The analyses of this study would be very difficult to perform experimentally; however, our model-based approach enabled a systematic investigation of the effects of a large number of variables on recording quality. Our results demonstrate that recording amplitude and noise are relatively independent of microelectrode size, but instead are primarily affected by the selected recording bandwidth, impedance of the electrode-tissue interface and the density and firing rates of neurons surrounding the recording electrode. This study provides the theoretical groundwork that allows for the design of the microelectrode and recording electronics such that the SNR is maximized. Such advances could help enable the long-term functionality required for chronic neural recording applications.

In Situ Characterization of the Brain-microdevice Interface Using Device Capture Histology

Journal of Neuroscience Methods. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21802446

Accurate assessment of brain-implantable microdevice bio-integration remains a formidable challenge. Prevailing histological methods require device extraction prior to tissue processing, often disrupting and removing the tissue of interest which had been surrounding the device. The Device-Capture Histology method, presented here, overcomes many limitations of the conventional Device-Explant Histology method, by collecting the device and surrounding tissue intact for subsequent labeling. With the implant remaining in situ, accurate and precise imaging of the morphologically preserved tissue at the brain/microdevice interface can then be collected and quantified. First, this article presents the Device-Capture Histology method for obtaining and processing the intact, undisturbed microdevice-tissue interface, and imaging using fluorescent labeling and confocal microscopy. Second, this article gives examples of how to quantify features found in the captured peridevice tissue. We also share histological data capturing (1) the impact of microdevice implantation on tissue, (2) the effects of an experimental anti-inflammatory coating, (3) a dense grouping of cell nuclei encapsulating a long-term implant, and (4) atypical oligodendrocyte organization neighboring a long term implant. Data sets collected using the Device-Capture Histology method are presented to demonstrate the significant advantages of processing the intact microdevice-tissue interface, and to underscore the utility of the method in understanding the effects of the brain-implantable microdevices on nearby tissue.

Multimodal, Longitudinal Assessment of Intracortical Microstimulation

Progress in Brain Research. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21867800

The fundamental obstacle to neuroprostheses based on penetrating microstimulation is the tissue's response to the device insertion and to the application of the electrical stimulation. Our long-term goal is to develop multichannel microstimulation of central nervous tissue for clinical therapy. The overall objective of this research is to identify the optimal parameters for a chronically implanted microstimulation device. In particular, the work presented here focuses on the effects of repeated stimulation and the reactive tissue response on the efficacy of stimulation-driven behavior. To this end, psychophysical experiments were performed using multichannel cortical implants in the auditory cortex of rats. Further, we investigated the effect of the device-tissue interfacial quality on the psychophysical threshold. Here, we report the effects of cortical depth, days postimplant on the psychophysical threshold of auditory cortical microstimulation, along with correlated impedance spectral changes and post vivo histology. We expect that these data will further enable neuroprosthetic development.

Asymmetric Versus Symmetric Pulses for Cortical Microstimulation

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering : a Publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21968793

Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS), which has shown promise in the visual, auditory and somatosensory systems as a platform for sensory prostheses, typically relies on charged balanced, symmetric, biphasic stimulation. However, neural stimulation models as well as experiments conducted in cochlear implant users have suggested that charge balanced asymmetric pulses could generate lower detection thresholds for stimulation in terms of charge per phase. For this study, rats were chronically implanted with microelectrode arrays unilaterally in their right auditory cortex and then trained to detect ICMS delivered through a single electrode site in order to determine their behavioral threshold. This model was used in two experiments. The first experiment addressed the effect of lead phase direction, asymmetry, and phase duration on detection threshold. The second experiment fixed the cathode phase duration at 123 μs and varied only the phase asymmetry and lead phase direction. Taken together, the results of these experiments suggest that, for ICMS, the primary determinant of threshold level is cathode phase duration, and that asymmetry provides no significant advantage when compared to symmetric, cathode leading pulses. However, symmetric anode leading pulses of less than or equal to 205 μs per phase consistently showed higher thresholds when compared to all other pulses of equal cathode phase duration.

In Vivo Polymerization of Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) in Rodent Cerebral Cortex

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22255561

Maintaining a reliable neural interface is a well-known challenge with implanted neural prostheses. Here we evaluate a method of forming an integrated neural interface through polymerization of PEDOT in vivo. Polymerization resulted in lower impedance and improved recording quality of local field potentials on implanted electrodes in the rat cerebral cortex. Histological analysis by optical microscopy confirmed successful integration of the PEDOT within tissue surrounding implanted electrodes. This technique offers a unique neural interfacing approach with potential to improve the long-term functionality of neural prostheses.

Rat Behavioral Model for High-throughput Parametric Studies of Intracortical Microstimulation

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22256083

In the development of sensory prosthetic devices based on intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) an important objective is to optimize the stimulus waveform. However, because of the large design space such optimization is an imposing challenge. This study highlights the ability of individual rats, trained using a conditioned avoidance paradigm and performing an adaptive task, to generate highly consistent and significant data. Three experiments on the effects of phase delay, stimulus pulse rate, and waveform asymmetry were completed and revealed detailed and significant results. These results, consisting of 244 individual thresholds, were generated by one rat in 19 days.

The Depth, Waveform and Pulse Rate for Electrical Microstimulation of the Auditory Cortex

Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23366430

Intracortical microstimulation of primary sensory regions of the brain offers a compelling platform for the development of sensory prostheses. However, fundamental questions remain regarding the optimal stimulation parameters. The purpose of this paper is to summarize a series of experiments which were designed to answer the following three questions. 1) What is the best electrode implantation depth? 2) What is the optimal stimulation waveform? 3) What is the maximal useful stimulus pulse rate? The present results suggest the following answers: 1) cortical layers V&IV, 2) biphasic, charge balanced, symmetric, cathode leading pulses with of duration of ∼ 100 microseconds per phase, and 3) 80 pulses-per-second.

A Hybrid PDMS-Parylene Subdural Multi-electrode Array

Biomedical Microdevices. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23334754

In this paper, we report on a cost effective and simple method for fabricating a flexible multi-electrode array for subdural neural recording. The electrode was fabricated using a PDMS-Parylene bilayer to combine the major advantages of both materials. Mechanical and electrical characterizations were performed to confirm functionality of a 16-site electrode array under various flexed/bent conditions. The electrode array was helically wound around a 3 mm diameter cylindrical tube and laid over a 2 cm diameter sphere while maintaining its recording capability. Experimental results showed impedance values between 300 kΩ and 600 kΩ at 1 kHz for 90 μm diameter gold recording sites. Acoustically evoked neural activity was successfully recorded from rat auditory cortex, confirming in vivo functionality.

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