Skip to Main Content
Penetrating microelectrode arrays with 2000 μm2 sputtered iridium oxide (SIROF) electrode sites were implanted in cat cerebral cortex, and their long-term electrochemical performance evaluated in vivo by cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and current pulsing. Measurements were made from days 33 to 328 postimplantation. The CV-defined charge storage capacity, measured at 50 mV/s, increased linearly with time over the course of implantation for two arrays and was unchanged for one array. A modest decrease in 1 kHz impedance was also observed. These results suggest an ongoing increase in the apparent electrochemical surface area of the electrodes, which is attributed to electrical leakage pathways arising from cracking of Parylene insulation observed by SEM of explanted arrays. During current pulsing with a 0.0 V interpulse bias, the electrodes readily delivered 8 nC/phase in vitro, but some channels approached or exceeded the water reduction potential during in vivo pulsing. The charge injection capacity in vivo increased linearly with the interpulse bias (0-0.6 V Ag|AgCl) from 11.5 to 21.8 nC/ph and with pulse width (150-500 μs) from 8.8 to 14 nC/ph (at 0.0 V bias). These values are lower than those determined from measurements in buffered physiological saline, emphasizing the importance of in vivo measurements in assessing chronic electrode performance. The consequence of current leakage pathways on the charge-injection measurements is also discussed.