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Evaluation of Durability of Transparent Graphene Electrodes Fabricated on Different Flexible Substrates for Chronic In Vivo Experiments



To investigate chronic durability of transparent graphene electrodes fabricated on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and SU-8 substrates for chronic in vivo studies.


We perform systematic accelerated aging tests to understand the chronic reliability and failure modes of transparent graphene microelectrode arrays built on PET and SU-8 substrates. We employ graphene microelectrodes fabricated on PET substrate in chronic in vivo experiments with transgenic mice.


Our results show that graphene microelectrodes fabricated on PET substrate work reliably after 30 days accelerated aging test performed at 87 °C, equivalent to 960 days in vivo lifetime. We demonstrate stable chronic recordings of cortical potentials in multimodal imaging/recording experiments using transparent graphene microelectrodes fabricated on PET substrate. On the other hand, graphene microelectrode arrays built on SU-8 substrate exhibit extensive crack formation across microelectrode sites and wires after one to two weeks, resulting in total failure of recording capability for chronic studies.


PET shows superior reliability as a substrate for graphene microelectrode arrays for chronic in vivo experiments.


Graphene is a unique neural interface material enabling cross-talk free integration of electrical and optical recording and stimulation techniques in the same experiment. To date, graphene-based microelectrode arrays have been demonstrated in various multi-modal acute experiments involving electrophysiological sensing or stimulation, optical imaging and optogenetics stimulation. Understanding chronic reliability of graphene-based transparent interfaces is very important to expand the use of this technology for long-term behavioral studies with animal models.

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