A PDMS-based conical-well microelectrode array for surface stimulation and recording of neural tissues

Liang Guo, Kathleen W. Meacham, Shawn Hochman, Stephen P. DeWeerth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A method for fabricating polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based microelectrode arrays (MEAs) featuring novel conical-well microelectrodes is described. The fabrication technique is reliable and efficient, and facilitates controllability over both the depth and the slope of the conical wells. Because of the high-PDMS elasticity (as compared to other MEA substrate materials), this type of compliant MEA is promising for acute and chronic implantation in applications that benefit from conformable device contact with biological tissue surfaces and from minimal tissue damage. The primary advantage of the conical-well microelectrodes-when compared to planar electrodes-is that they provide an improved contact on tissue surface, which potentially provides isolation of the electrode microenvironment for better electrical interfacing. The raised wells increase the uniformity of current density distributions at both the electrode and tissue surfaces, and they also protect the electrode material from mechanical damage (e.g., from rubbing against the tissue). Using this technique, electrodes have been fabricated with diameters as small as 10 μm and arrays have been fabricated with center-to-center electrode spacings of 60 μm. Experimental results are presented,describing electrode-profile characterization, electrode-impedance measurement, and MEA-performance evaluation on fiber bundle recruitment in spinal cord white matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2485-2494
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number10 PART 1
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Compliant
  • Conical-well microelectrode
  • Conically recessed electrode
  • Microelectrode array (MEA)
  • Microfabrication
  • Neural prosthesis
  • Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
  • Surface recording
  • Surface stimulation


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