Choosing electrodes for deep brain stimulation experiments–electrochemical considerations

Jan Gimsa, Beate Habel, Ute Schreiber, Ursula van Rienen, Ulf Strauss, Ulrike Gimsa
2005 Journal of Neuroscience Methods  
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a therapy of movement disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD). Commercially available electrodes for animal models of Parkinson's disease vary in geometry and material. We characterized such electrodes and found a drift in their properties within minutes and up to about 60 h after immersion in cell culture medium, both with and without a stimulation signal. Electrode properties could largely be restored by proteolytic treatment for platinum/iridium
more » ... but not for stainless steel ones. Short-term drift and irreversible aging could be followed by impedance measurements. Aging was accompanied by metal corrosion and erosion of the plastic insulation. For both materials, the degradation rates depended on the current density at the electrode surfaces. Fourier analysis of the DBS pulse (60 s, repetition rate 130 Hz) revealed harmonic frequencies spanning a band of more than three decades, with significant harmonics up to the MHz range. The band is located in a window imposed by electrode processes and capacitive cell membrane bridging at the low and high frequency ends, respectively. Even though electrode processes are reduced at higher frequencies they only vanish above 1 MHz and cannot be avoided. Therefore, the use of inert electrode materials is of special importance. The neurotoxicity of iron makes avoiding stainless steel electrodes imperative. Future developments need to avoid the use of corrosive materials and current density hot spots at the electrode surface, and to reduce low frequency components in the DBS pulses in order to diminish electrode processes.
doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2004.09.001 pmid:15698665 fatcat:6bcqagz3fjgfdiirsvu2m7lfre