Three-Dimensional Flexible Electronics Enabled by Shape Memory Polymer Substrates for Responsive Neural Interfaces

Authors

  • Taylor Ware,

    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Dustin Simon,

    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Keith Hearon,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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  • Clive Liu,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Sagar Shah,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Jonathan Reeder,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Navid Khodaparast,

    1. Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Michael P. Kilgard,

    1. Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Duncan J. Maitland,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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  • Robert L. Rennaker II,

    1. School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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  • Walter E. Voit

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
    2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Mailstop RL10, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.
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Abstract

Planar electronics processing methods have enabled neural interfaces to become more precise and deliver more information. However, this processing paradigm is inherently 2D and rigid. The resulting mechanical and geometrical mismatch at the biotic–abiotic interface can elicit an immune response that prevents effective stimulation. In this work, a thiol–ene/acrylate shape memory polymer is utilized to create 3D softening substrates for stimulation electrodes. This substrate system is shown to soften in vivo from more than 600 to 6 MPa. A nerve cuff electrode that coils around the vagus nerve in a rat and that drives neural activity is demonstrated.

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