Development of antibacterial neural stimulation electrodes via hierarchical surface restructuring and atomic layer deposition

Henna Khosla, Wesley Seche, Daniel Ammerman, Sahar Elyahoodayan, Gregory A. Caputo, Jeffrey Hettinger, Shahram Amini, Gang Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Miniaturization and electrochemical performance enhancement of electrodes and microelectrode arrays in emerging long-term implantable neural stimulation devices improves specificity, functionality, and performance of these devices. However, surgical site and post-implantation infections are amongst the most devastating complications after surgical procedures and implantations. Additionally, with the increased use of antibiotics, the threat of antibiotic resistance is significant and is increasingly being recognized as a global problem. Therefore, the need for alternative strategies to eliminate post-implantation infections and reduce antibiotic use has led to the development of medical devices with antibacterial properties. In this work, we report on the development of electrochemically active antibacterial platinum-iridium electrodes targeted for use in neural stimulation and sensing applications. A two-step development process was used. Electrodes were first restructured using femtosecond laser hierarchical surface restructuring. In the second step of the process, atomic layer deposition was utilized to deposit conformal antibacterial copper oxide thin films on the hierarchical surface structure of the electrodes to impart antibacterial properties to the electrodes with minimal impact on electrochemical performance of the electrodes. Morphological, compositional, and structural properties of the electrodes were studied using multiple modalities of microscopy and spectroscopy. Antibacterial properties of the electrodes were also studied, particularly, the killing effect of the hierarchically restructured antibacterial electrodes on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus—two common types of bacteria responsible for implant infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19778
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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