A first study on nanoporous tungsten recording electrodes for deep brain stimulation

Fei Shuang, Haokun Deng, Ashfaque B. Shafique, Steve Marsh, David Treiman, Kostas Tsakalis, Katerina E. Aifantis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The present study compares aspects of the performance of new tungsten (W) nanoporous implantable electrodes to their smooth (non-porous) counterparts. In vivo studies in healthy rats indicated that after four months of implantation the change in the power spectral density function in the low frequency range (which is where the electroencephalogram data reside/EEG) was smaller for the nanoporous recording electrodes, indicating that the porosity allowed to maintain a more consistent reading of the EEG. Molecular dynamics simulations illustrated that during compression, protrusions form on the surface of smooth W microwires, which can produce severe stress concentrations in the brain tissue that damage cells and affect the electrical conductivity. This problem may become critical for thinner electrodes or under abnormal circumstances. Our simulations showed that inducing a porous structure, allowed to dispense such mechanical instabilities. These results indicate that inducing a porosity on the electrode surface increases, both, the in vivo electrical signal and mechanical stability. This is a first study that illustrates possible advantages with respect to signal degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126885
JournalMaterials Letters
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • In vivo
  • Mechanical stability
  • Pores
  • Recording electrodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A first study on nanoporous tungsten recording electrodes for deep brain stimulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this