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Scientific Reports




Miniaturization and electrochemical performance enhancement of electrodes and microelectrode arrays in emerging long-term implantable neural stimulation devices improves specificity, functionality, and performance of these devices. However, surgical site and post-implantation infections are amongst the most devastating complications after surgical procedures and implantations. Additionally, with the increased use of antibiotics, the threat of antibiotic resistance is significant and is increasingly being recognized as a global problem. Therefore, the need for alternative strategies to eliminate post-implantation infections and reduce antibiotic use has led to the development of medical devices with antibacterial properties. In this work, we report on the development of electrochemically active antibacterial platinum-iridium electrodes targeted for use in neural stimulation and sensing applications. A two-step development process was used. Electrodes were first restructured using femtosecond laser hierarchical surface restructuring. In the second step of the process, atomic layer deposition was utilized to deposit conformal antibacterial copper oxide thin films on the hierarchical surface structure of the electrodes to impart antibacterial properties to the electrodes with minimal impact on electrochemical performance of the electrodes. Morphological, compositional, and structural properties of the electrodes were studied using multiple modalities of microscopy and spectroscopy. Antibacterial properties of the electrodes were also studied, particularly, the killing effect of the hierarchically restructured antibacterial electrodes on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus-two common types of bacteria responsible for implant infections.


© The Author(s) 2023 Published by SpringerNature. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.