Electrolysis-based Parylene Balloon Actuators for Movable Neural Probes
In order to track a specific neuron and keep good sampling neural signals during chronic implantation, the neural probes are highly desired to have moving capability. This paper presents a novel electrolysis-based parylene balloon actuator fabricated with MEMS technology. The actuator is integrated with silicon probe to make it movable. A new fabrication technology has been developed to build a parylene balloon structure with silicon spring structure, electrolysis electrodes and electrolyte inside. By applying little current to electrolysis electrodes, high pressure is generated inside the parylene balloon by electrolysis. The spring structure is stretched with the parylene balloon expansion. Therefore the neural probe is moved by the actuation. The electrolysis actuator can generate large stain and pressure, requires modest electrical power and produces minimal heat. Due to the large volume expansion obtained via electrolysis, the small actuator can create a large force. The new electrolysis actuators for movable neural probes have been fabricated and validated.
Additional Information© 2007 IEEE. Issue Date: 16-19 Jan. 2007; Date of Current Version: 23 April 2007. This project was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We wish to acknowledge Mr. Trevor Roper for assistance with fabrication.