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Simulation and Measurement of Neuroelectrodes Characteristics with Integrated High Aspect Ratio Nano Structures

1 BioMEMS Lab, University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg, Wuerzburger Str. 45, 63743 Aschaffenburg, Germany;
2 Institute of Electromechanical Design, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt, Merckstraße 25, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany

Improving the interface between electrodes and neurons has been the focus of research for the last decade. Neuroelectrodes should show small geometrical surface area and low impedance for measuring and high charge injection capacities for stimulation. Increasing the electrochemically active surface area by using nanoporous electrode material or by integrating nanostructures onto planar electrodes is a common approach to improve this interface. In this paper a simulation approach for neuro electrodes' characteristics with integrated high aspect ratio nano structures based on a point-contact-model is presented. The results are compared with experimental findings conducted with real nanostructured microelectrodes. In particular, effects of carbon nanotubes and gold nanowires integrated onto microelectrodes are described. Simulated and measured impedance properties are presented and its effects onto the transfer function between the neural membrane potential and the amplifier output signal are studied based on the point-contact-model. Simulations show, in good agreement with experimental results, that electrode impedances can be dramatically reduced by the integration of high aspect ratio nanostructures such as gold nanowires and carbon nanotubes. This lowers thermal noise and improves the signal-to-noise ratio for measuring electrodes. It also may increase the adhesion of cells to the substrate and thus increase measurable signal amplitudes.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, Christiane Thielemann, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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