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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Steve M. Potter, Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 313 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA e-mail: steve.potter@bme.gatech.edu; Robert E. Gross, Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Suite 6329, 101 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA, e-mail: rgross@emory.edu

Steve M. Potter and Robert E. Gross have contributed equally to this work.

The authors wish to thank members of the Potter and Gross labs for their valuable suggestions.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the CURE Foundation, NSF EFRI 1238097, Wallace H. Coulter foundation.

The Schlumberger Faculty for the Future fellowship supported Sharanya Arcot Desai.


  • deep brain stimulation
  • electroplating
  • hippocampus
  • immediate early gene (IEG)
  • macroelectrodes
  • multielectrode array (MEA)
  • neuronal activation

Deep brain stimulation macroelectrodes compared to multiple microelectrodes in rat hippocampus


Journal Title:

Frontiers in Neuroengineering


Volume 7, Number JUN


, Pages 16-16

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Microelectrode arrays (wire diameter <50 μm) were compared to traditional macroelec-trodes for deep brain stimulation (DBS). Understanding the neuronal activation volume may help solve some of the mysteries associated with DBS, e.g., its mechanisms of action. We used c-fos immunohistochemistry to investigate neuronal activation in the rat hippocampus caused by multi-micro- and macroelectrode stimulation. At ± 1V stimulation at 25 Hz, microelectrodes (33 μm diameter) had a radius of activation of 100 μm, which is 50% of that seen with 150 μm diameter macroelectrode stimulation. Macroelectrodes activated about 5.8 times more neurons than a single microelectrode, but displaced ~20 times more neural tissue. The sphere of influence of stimulating electrodes can be significantly increased by reducing their impedance. By ultrasonic electroplating (sonicoplating) the microelectrodes with platinum to increase their surface area and reduce their impedance by an order of magnitude, the radius of activation increased by 50 μm and more than twice the number of neurons were activated within this increased radius compared to unplated microelectrodes.We suggest that a new approach to DBS, one that uses multiple high-surface area microelectrodes, may be more therapeutically effective due to increased neuronal activation.

Copyright information:

© 2014 Arcot Desai, Gutekunst, Potter and Gross.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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