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13 February 2009 Brain machine interfaces combining microelectrode arrays with nanostructured optical biochemical sensors
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Neural microelectrodes are an important component of neural prosthetic systems which assist paralyzed patients by allowing them to operate computers or robots using their neural activity. These microelectrodes are also used in clinical settings to localize the locus of seizure initiation in epilepsy or to stimulate sub-cortical structures in patients with Parkinson's disease. In neural prosthetic systems, implanted microelectrodes record the electrical potential generated by specific thoughts and relay the signals to algorithms trained to interpret these thoughts. In this paper, we describe novel elongated multi-site neural electrodes that can record electrical signals and specific neural biomarkers and that can reach depths greater than 8mm in the sulcus of non-human primates (monkeys). We hypothesize that additional signals recorded by the multimodal probes will increase the information yield when compared to standard probes that record just electropotentials. We describe integration of optical biochemical sensors with neural microelectrodes. The sensors are made using sol-gel derived xerogel thin films that encapsulate specific biomarker responsive luminophores in their nanostructured pores. The desired neural biomarkers are O2, pH, K+, and Na+ ions. As a prototype, we demonstrate direct-write patterning to create oxygen-responsive xerogel waveguide structures on the neural microelectrodes. The recording of neural biomarkers along with electrical activity could help the development of intelligent and more userfriendly neural prosthesis/brain machine interfaces as well as aid in providing answers to complex brain diseases and disorders.
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Mohamad Hajj-Hassan, Timothy Gonzalez, Ebrahim Ghafer-Zadeh, Vamsy Chodavarapu, Sam Musallam, and Mark Andrews "Brain machine interfaces combining microelectrode arrays with nanostructured optical biochemical sensors", Proc. SPIE 7188, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications VI, 718805 (13 February 2009);

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