Implantable Neural Microelectrodes and Fabrication Method


Executive Summary


Microelectrodes have become vital in the current-day attempt to map and understand the human brain, as well as delivering unique therapeutic solutions. These microelectrodes are able to work as biosensors, picking up changes in potential and electrophysiology. In particular, extracellular sensors can record data on neurotransmitter concentration and other differences in cell potential. While typically used for data recording and scientific studies, microelectrodes can also be utilized as a therapeutic device. Two of the most common forms of electrode design are metal wire systems, silicon-etched systems, and carbon-fiber systems, however, both of these materials come with disadvantages in size, stability, reproducibility, and biodegradation. Therefore, generation of diamond based microelectrodes can overcome these disadvantages.


Description of Technology


The technology is an all diamond microelectrode capable of monitoring extracellular biopotentials and chemical signals from neurons. The advantages of the device are its ability to record data with high spatiotemoporal resolution, excellent long-term stability, and minimal invasiveness. Specifically, the microelectrode has a conductive boron-doped polycrystalline diamond (BDD) core, and is insulated by a polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cladding. The microelectrode can be tuned from an insulator to a semi-conductor or to a conductor by altering the PCD coating. The insulation of the PCD reduces signal noise as well deters biodegradation. The method of fabrication and microfiber electrode design can, due to the small size of the device, be utilized to collect data on neurotransmitter concentration and other changes in extracellular potential with a high resolution spatial context. The electrode can be used to read from a specific neuron and causes little mechanical damage to the brain compared to other devices.


Key Benefits

  • High Spatial Resolution and Stability – Resistant to biodegradation and resistant to signal noise.
  • Improved Method of Manufacture – Device can be microfabricated and does not require handmade steps.
  • Low Mechanical Damage – Small size reduces scar tissue.



Scientific Neural Research

  • Research Lab Based
  • Clinical Trials

Therapeutic Stimulation

  • Cochlear Implants
  • Deep Brain Stimulation


Patent Status: 


Patent Pending.


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Wen Li, Yue Guo, Thomas Schulke, Michael Becker, Robert Rechenberg, Cory Rusinex


Tech ID: TEC2018-0036


Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University