A totally soft organic subdural electrode has been developed by embedding an array of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-modified carbon fabric (PEDOT-CF) into the polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel substrate. The mesh structure of the stretchable PEDOT-CF allowed stable structural integration with the PVA substrate. The electrode performance for monitoring electrocorticography (ECoG) was evaluated in saline solution, on ex vivo brains, and in vivo animal experiments using rats and porcines. It was demonstrated that the large double-layer capacitance of the PEDOT-CF brings low impedance at the frequency of brain wave including epileptic seizures, and PVA hydrogel substrate minimized the contact impedance on the brain. The most important unique feature of the hydrogel-based ECoG electrode was its shape conformability to enable tight adhesion even to curved, grooved surface of brains by just being placed. In addition, since the hydrogel-based electrode is totally organic, the simultaneous ECoG-fMRI measurements could be conducted without image artifacts, avoiding problems induced by conventional metallic electrodes.
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