Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Mechanical Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Wei Xue, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Hettinger, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Francis Haas, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Lei Yu, Ph.D.


Chronic Pain Management; Electrode Coatings; Flexible Electronics; Flexible Spinal Cord Stimulator; Stencil Lithography


Spinal implants; Chronic pain--Treatment; Kapton (Trademark)


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Materials Science and Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Recent advances in spinal cord stimulation (SCS) technology have made a significant impact in the treatment of chronic pain which is a prevalent issue amongst 20% of the population in developed nations. A few medical device manufactures have developed SCS devices that have been studied in clinical environments and reported to be effective and safe for commercial use. However, the current SCS devices available are bulky, rigid, and still present infection, fibrosis, discomfort, pulse delivery challenges and other concerns for patients. In this study, flexible electrodes processed on Kapton® polyimide films by physical vapor and inkjet deposition are fabricated and investigated to address some of these issues. The electrodes are composed of an initial layer of silver (Ag) or copper (Cu) conductive metal, followed by a titanium (Ti) buffer layer, and FDA approved titanium nitride (TiN) coating to create a multilayered, flexible, thin, biocompatible, efficient, minimally invasive, and functional lead. Flexible lead and electrode specimen are prepared and tested to evaluate the metal-to-polymer adhesion strength, resistivity under mechanical bending and stretching, and charge exchange properties. The results demonstrate that the flexible lead coatings are safe, thin, light, strongly adhered, durable, with efficient charge exchange characteristics, which make them a viable option for implantable SCS applications.

Available for download on Sunday, December 14, 2025