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Silicon carbide technologies for interfacing with the nervous system

  • Author(s): Diaz-Botia, Camilo Andres
  • Advisor(s): Maharbiz, Michel M
  • et al.

In the past couple of decades we have seen remarkable advances in the integration of biological systems with artificial ones. Our knowledge of both of these worlds has grown exponentially, and in particular our knowledge of the human body. In recent years we have been able to understand and treat diseases we never thought we would, and we have even been able to interface with the body to restore lost functions. Direct interaction with the human brain to read and write information to it has been achieved thanks to the development of neural probes. The work presented in this thesis focused on improving the performance of such probes in regards to their operational lifetime. This work begins with a description and demonstration of how silicon carbide technologies are suitable and compatible with neural probes, and is a better material choice for device insulation. Then, a fabrication method for silicon carbide based electrode arrays is presented, in which conductive silicon carbide is integrated with insulating silicon carbide to form an electrode architecture in which the only exposed material is the superior silicon carbide. Following this, in-vivo demonstration of these silicon carbide based electrode arrays is done by recording from the nervous system of an animal model

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