Fabrication of Injectable Micro-Scale Opto- Electronically Transduced Electrodes (MOTEs) for Physiological Monitoring
In vivo, chronic neural recording is critical to understand the nervous system, while a tetherless, miniaturized recording unit can render such recording minimally invasive. We present a tetherless, injectable micro-scale opto-electronically transduced electrode (MOTE) that is ∼ 60μ m × 30μ m × 330μ m, the smallest neural recording unit to date. The MOTE consists of an AlGaAs micro-scale light emitting diode (μ LED) heterogeneously integrated on top of conventional 180nm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuit. The MOTE combines the merits of optics (AlGaAs μ LED for power and data uplink), and of electronics (CMOS for signal amplification and encoding). The optical powering and communication enable the extreme scaling while the electrical circuits provide a high temporal resolution (< 100μ s). This paper elaborates on the heterogeneous integration in MOTEs, a topic that has been touted without much demonstration on feasibility or scalability. Based on photolithography, we demonstrate how to build heterogenous systems that are scalable as well as biologically stable- the MOTEs can function in saline water for more than six months, and in a mouse brain for two months (and counting). We also present handling/insertion techniques for users (i.e. biologists) to deploy MOTEs with little or no extra training. © 1992-2012 IEEE.