A silicon-based neural probe with densely-packed low-impedance titanium nitride microelectrodes for ultrahigh-resolution in vivo recordings

Richárd Fiáth, Bogdan Cristian Raducanu, Silke Musa, Alexandru Andrei, Carolina Mora Lopez, Chris van Hoof, Patrick Ruther, Arno Aarts, Domonkos Horváth, I. Ulbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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In this study, we developed and validated a single-shank silicon-based neural probe with 128 closely-packed microelectrodes suitable for high-resolution extracellular recordings. The 8-mm-long, 100-µm-wide and 50-µm-thick implantable shank of the probe fabricated using a 0.13-µm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) metallization technology contains square-shaped (20 × 20 µm2), low-impedance (~ 50 kΩ at 1 kHz) recording sites made of rough and porous titanium nitride which are arranged in a 32 × 4 dense array with an inter-electrode pitch of 22.5 µm. The electrophysiological performance of the probe was tested in in vivo experiments by implanting it acutely into neocortical areas of anesthetized animals (rats, mice and cats). We recorded local field potentials, single- and multi-unit activity with superior quality from all layers of the neocortex of the three animal models, even after reusing the probe in multiple (> 10) experiments. The low-impedance electrodes monitored spiking activity with high signal-to-noise ratio; the peak-to-peak amplitude of extracellularly recorded action potentials of well-separable neurons ranged from 0.1 mV up to 1.1 mV. The high spatial sampling of neuronal activity made it possible to detect action potentials of the same neuron on multiple, adjacent recording sites, allowing a more reliable single unit isolation and the investigation of the spatiotemporal dynamics of extracellular action potential waveforms in greater detail. Moreover, the probe was developed with the specific goal to use it as a tool for the validation of electrophysiological data recorded with high-channel-count, high-density neural probes comprising integrated CMOS circuitry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - May 30 2018



  • Action potential waveform
  • CMOS metallization technology
  • High-density neural recording
  • Multi-unit activity
  • Neocortex
  • Single-unit activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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