Placing sites on the edge of planar silicon microelectrodes enhances chronic recording functionality

Heui Chang Lee, Janak Gaire, Badrinath Roysam, Kevin J. Otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aims to identify the impact of using edge sites over center sites on a planar silicon microelectrode array. Methods: We used custom-designed, silicon-substrate multisite microelectrode arrays with sites on the center, edge, and tip. We compared their single unit recording capability, noise level, impedance, and histology to identify the differences between each site location. Wide and narrow devices were used to evaluate if the differences are consistent and meet theoretical expectations. Results: On the wide device, significantly more number of edge sites were functional than center sites over the course of 8 weeks with generally higher signal-to-noise amplitude ratio. On the narrow device, edge sites also performed generally better than center sites, but the differences were not significant and smaller than wide devices. The data from the tip sites were inconclusive. Conclusion: Edge sites outperformed center sites in terms of single unit recording capability. This benefit decreased as the device gets narrower and the distance to center sites decreases. Significance: We showed that a simple alteration to the site placement can greatly enhance the functionality of silicon microelectrodes. This study promotes the idea that not only the substrate but also the site architecture needs attention to lengthen the lifetime of neural implants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2715811
Pages (from-to)1245-1255
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017


  • Biological tissue response
  • Chronic neural implant
  • Impedance spectroscopy
  • Planar silicon microelectrodes
  • Single unit recording


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