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Bioresorbable silicon electronics for transient spatiotemporal mapping of electrical activity from the cerebral cortex


Bioresorbable silicon electronics technology offers unprecedented opportunities to deploy advanced implantable monitoring systems that eliminate risks, cost and discomfort associated with surgical extraction. Applications include postoperative monitoring and transient physiologic recording after percutaneous or minimally invasive placement of vascular, cardiac, orthopaedic, neural or other devices. We present an embodiment of these materials in both passive and actively addressed arrays of bioresorbable silicon electrodes with multiplexing capabilities, which record in vivo electrophysiological signals from the cortical surface and the subgaleal space. The devices detect normal physiologic and epileptiform activity, both in acute and chronic recordings. Comparative studies show sensor performance comparable to standard clinical systems and reduced tissue reactivity relative to conventional clinical electrocorticography (ECoG) electrodes. This technology offers general applicability in neural interfaces, with additional potential utility in treatment of disorders where transient monitoring and modulation of physiologic function, implant integrity and tissue recovery or regeneration are required.

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Figure 1: Thin, flexible neural electrode arrays with fully bioresorbable construction based on patterned silicon nanomembranes (Si NMs) as the conducting component.
Figure 2: In vivo neural recordings in rats using a passive, bioresorbable electrode array.
Figure 3: In vivo chronic recordings in rats using a passive, bioresorbable electrode array.
Figure 4: Immunohistology analysis.
Figure 5: Bioresorbable actively multiplexed neural electrode array.
Figure 6: Acute in vivo microscale electrocorticography (μECoG) with a 64-channel, bioresorbable, actively multiplexed array of measurement electrodes.


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The work was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center Pilot Grant, T32- Brain Injury Research Training Grant (5T32NS043126-12) and the Mirowski Family Foundation. Images in figures 2e, 3a and 6d from 3D Rat Anatomy Software (

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K.J.Y., D.K., B.L. and J.A.R. designed the research. K.J.Y., D.K., S.-W.H., B.H.K., N.H.K., S.M.W., K.C., H.F., K.J.S., H.N.L., S.-K.K., J.-H.K. and J.Y.L. fabricated the devices and electronics. K.J.Y., D.K., S.M.W., M. Trumpis, H.F., M. Thompson, H.B., M.A.D., T.L. and J.V. conceived and performed bench tests, and analysis. D.K., K.J.Y., H.J., A.G.R., M.A.D. and T.H.L. performed in vivo experiments and analysed the data. D.T. and F.E.J. performed biocompatibility and histology studies. H.C. and Y.H. performed mechanical simulations. K.J.Y., D.K., A.G.R., M.Trumpis, J.V., B.L. and J.A.R. wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Brian Litt or John A. Rogers.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Yu, K., Kuzum, D., Hwang, SW. et al. Bioresorbable silicon electronics for transient spatiotemporal mapping of electrical activity from the cerebral cortex. Nature Mater 15, 782–791 (2016).

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