Hybrid neuroelectronics: towards a solution-centric way of thinking about complex problems in neurostimulation tools

Sofia Drakopoulou, F. Varkevisser, Linta Sohail, M. Aqamolaei, T.M. Lopes Marta da Costa, George D. Spyropoulos

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Responsive neuromodulation is increasingly being used to treat patients with neuropsychiatric diseases. Yet, inefficient bridges between traditional and new materials and technological innovations impede advancements in neurostimulation tools. Signaling in the brain is accomplished predominantly by ion flux rather than the movement of electrons. However, the status quo for the acquisition of neural signals is using materials, such as noble metals, that can only interact with electrons. As a result, ions accumulate at the biotic/abiotic interface, creating a double-layer capacitance that increases impedance and negatively impacts the efficiency of neural interrogation. Alternative materials, such as conducting polymers, allow ion penetration in the matrix, creating a volumetric capacitor (two orders of magnitude larger than an area-dependent capacitor) that lowers the impedance and increases the spatiotemporal resolution of the recording/stimulation. On the other hand, the increased development and integration capabilities of CMOS-based back-end electronics have enabled the creation of increasingly powerful and energy-efficient microchips. These include stimulation and recording systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) with up to tens of thousands of channels, fully integrated circuitry for stimulation, signal conditioning, digitation, wireless power and data telemetry, and on-chip signal processing. Here, we aim to compile information on the best component for each building block and try to strengthen the vision that bridges the gap among various materials and technologies in an effort to advance neurostimulation tools and promote a solution-centric way of considering their complex problems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Journalfrontiers in electronics
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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