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PTFOS: Flexible and Absorbable Intracranial Electrodes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Author: Giorgio Bonmassar et al.

by Giorgio Bonmassar, Kyoko Fujimoto, Alexandra J. Golby

Intracranial electrocortical recording and stimulation can provide unique knowledge about functional brain anatomy in patients undergoing brain surgery. This approach is commonly used in the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy. However, it can be very difficult to integrate the results of cortical recordings with other brain mapping modalities, particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The ability to integrate imaging and electrophysiological information with simultaneous subdural electrocortical recording/stimulation and fMRI could offer significant insight for cognitive and systems neuroscience as well as for clinical neurology, particularly for patients with epilepsy or functional disorders. However, standard subdural electrodes cause significant artifact in MRI images, and concerns about risks such as cortical heating have generally precluded obtaining MRI in patients with implanted electrodes. We propose an electrode set based on polymer thick film organic substrate (PTFOS), an organic absorbable, flexible and stretchable electrode grid for intracranial use. These new types of MRI transparent intracranial electrodes are based on nano-particle ink technology that builds on our earlier development of an EEG/fMRI electrode set for scalp recording. The development of MRI-compatible recording/stimulation electrodes with a very thin profile could allow functional mapping at the individual subject level of the underlying feedback and feed forward networks. The thin flexible substrate would allow the electrodes to optimally contact the convoluted brain surface. Performance properties of the PTFOS were assessed by MRI measurements, finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations, micro-volt recording, and injecting currents using standard electrocortical stimulation in phantoms. In contrast to the large artifacts exhibited with standard electrode sets, the PTFOS exhibited no artifact due to the reduced amount of metal and conductivity of the electrode/trace ink and had similar electrical properties to a standard subdural electrode set. The enhanced image quality could enable routine MRI exams of patients with intracranial electrode implantation and could also lead to chronic implantation solutions.
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