Sensors, Vol. 19, Pages 2725: Application of a Novel Measurement Setup for Characterization of Graphene Microelectrodes and a Comparative Study of Variables Influencing Charge Injection Limits of Implantable Microelectrodes (Sensors)
Depending on their use, electrodes must have a certain size and design so as not to compromise their electrical characteristics. It is fundamental to be aware of all dependences on external factors that vary the electrochemical characteristics of the electrodes. When using implantable electrodes, the maximum charge injection capacity (CIC) is the total amount of charge that can be injected into the tissue in a reversible way. It is fundamental to know the relations between the characteristics of the microelectrode itself and its maximum CIC in order to develop microelectrodes that will be used in biomedical applications. CIC is a very complex measure that depends on many factors: material, size (geometric and effectiveness area), and shape of the implantable microelectrode and long-term behavior, composition, and temperature of the electrolyte. In this paper, our previously proposed measurement setup and automated calculation method are used to characterize a graphene microelectrode and to measure the behavior of a set of microelectrodes that have been developed in the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) labs. We provide an electrochemical evaluation of CIC for these microelectrodes by examining the role of the following variables: pulse width of the stimulation signal, electrode geometry and size, roughness factor, solution, and long-term behavior. We hope the results presented in this paper will be useful for future studies and for the manufacture of advanced implantable microelectrodes.