In the last two decades though the field of neuroprosthetics has gained tremendous momentum through the development of novel architectures for neural interfaces, however, till date there is no device which can be nomenclatured as the "gold standard" in the field. As a result the research and technology environment at each laboratory is unique and require a high-level of customization and integration. The objective of this application is to devise a "one-in-all technology" that encompasses the assets (such as ultra high aspect ratio, multi- channels, flexible substrate, interconnection etc.) of the silicon (such as the Utah and Michigan array) and polymer based arrays and mitigates their limitations. Most importantly it provides a highly customized and "poor man's solution" to research laboratories. In this application we present a platform technology, called Blackrock Micro Molding Arrays (BRMMA), based on micro molding technique, which enables devolvement of highly customizable and affordable micro devices without compromising the characteristics of the neural probe such as electrical and mechanical properties, reliability, and durability. BRMMA offers highly customized design rules which include surface and penetrating electrodes. It allow the end users for the first time to dictate their own electrode design (specified within the design rules of BRMMA) as per their hypothesis, and choose the number of active channels per shaft, location and material used for active sites, shape and size of the shaft etc. BRMMA developed by Blackrock Microsystems would produce relevant statistical number of devices to test in vitro and in vivo functionality for long term use BRMMA would be marketed to the neuroscience research community by Blackrock Microsystems.

Public Health Relevance

The new platform technology would allow us to fabricate highly customizable neural multielectrode arrays at an affordable price without compromising the reliability and durability of the device. The Blackrock Micro Molded Arrays (BRMMA) design is customizable and for the first time allows the neuroscientists to dictate their own design/electrodes at an affordable price to test their hypothesis in a shoe-string budget. BRMMA design encompasses surface and penetrating electrodes, different substrate material for rigid or flexible electrodes. This simple planar technology has 3 masks process and yields better quality, repeatability, and higher throughput of electrode arrays at lower cost of manufacturing and faster lead time. Due to the high level of customization, no matter which animal model (or tissue slices) neuroscientist works on, they can design their own neural device to validate their hypothesis.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ETTN-K (10))
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Ludwig, Kip A
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Blackrock Microsystems
Salt Lake City
United States
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