Potential applications of a small and high surface area platinum electrode as an implanted impedance bio-sensor or recording electrode

Y. Y. Duan, R. E. Millard, M. Tykocinski, X. Lui, G. M. Clark, R. Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A small Platinum (Pt) electrode (geometric area: ∼0.43 mm2) was treated in an electrochemical etching process, to produce a highly porous columnar thin layer (∼600 nm) on the surface of the electrode. The modified Pt electrode (Pt-p) showed similar electrical properties to a platinum-black electrode but with high mechanical integrity. Previous studies of chronic stimulation had also shown good biocompatibility and surface stability over several months implantation. This paper discusses the potential applications of the modified electrode as an implanted bio-sensor: (1) as a recording electrode compared to an untreated Pt electrode. (2) as a probe in detecting electrical characteristics of living biological material adjacent to the electrode in vivo, which may correlate to inflammation or trauma repair. Results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) revealed much lower electrode interface polarisation impedance, reduced overall electrode impedance, and a largely constant impedance above 100 Hz for the Pt-p electrode compared with untreated Pt electrodes. This provides a platform for recording biological events with low noise interference. Results of A.C. impedance spectroscopy of the high surface area electrode only reflect changes in the surrounding biological environment in the frequency range (1 kHz to 100 kHz), interference from electrode polarisation impedance can be neglected. The results imply that the surface-modified electrode is a good candidate for application to implantable biosensors for detecting bio-electric events. The modification procedure and its high surface area concept could have application to a smart MEMS device or microelectrode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bio-impedance
  • Bio-sensors
  • Cochlear implant
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)
  • Implanted electrode
  • Neural recording electrode
  • Surface modification


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