Implantable electrodes: PEEK-OPTIMA Natural film as a substrate.
As researchers seek to better understand neural networks, improve existing therapies and develop new ones, printed implantable electrodes may provide performance, size, and cost benefits. Studies conducted in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK, www.strath.ac.uk/bioeng) show that implantable electrodes can be printed on PEEK-OPTIMA polymers using common methods such as screen printing, transfer printing and ink jet printing. These studies evaluated PEEK-OPTIMA performance as a substrate material for screen-printing of implantable electrodes and flexible circuits and determined:
- Amorphous and semi-crystalline PEEK films (100-µm thick) can be used to screen print platinum and silver (Ag/AgCl) electrodes.
- Platinum and silver PEEK electrodes were flexible and resistant to manual bending, ultra-violet and EtO sterilisation and 72-hour saline immersion.
Significantly, impedance measurements on PEEK-OPTIMA electrodes displayed similar behaviour to respective standard wire electrodes. Also, fibroblast cells were confirmed to have grown in the presence of platinum screen-printed PEEK-OPTIMA electrodes, leading researchers to conclude that platinum PEEK electrodes are viable implantable solutions with no apparent change in their morphology.