Publication Details

Harris, A. R., Molino, P. J., Kapsa, R. M. I., Clarke, G. M., Paolini, A. G. & Wallace, G. G. (2014). Optical and electrochemical methods for determining the effective area and charge density of conducting polymer modified electrodes for neural stimulation. Analytical Chemistry, 87 (1), 738-746.


Neural stimulation is used in the cochlear implant, bionic eye, and deep brain stimulation, which involves implantation of an array of electrodes into a patient's brain. The current passed through the electrodes is used to provide sensory queues or reduce symptoms associated with movement disorders and increasingly for psychological and pain therapies. Poor control of electrode properties can lead to suboptimal performance; however, there are currently no standard methods to assess them, including the electrode area and charge density. Here we demonstrate optical and electrochemical methods for measuring these electrode properties and show the charge density is dependent on electrode geometry. This technique highlights that materials can have widely different charge densities but also large variation in performance. Measurement of charge density from an electroactive area may result in new materials and electrode geometries that improve patient outcomes and reduce side effects.

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