Nanotunnels within Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-Carbon Nanotube Composite for Highly Sensitive Neural Interfacing

Nuan Chen, Baiwen Luo, Anoop C. Patil, Jiahui Wang, Gil Gerald Lasam Gammad, Zhigao Yi, Xiaogang Liu, Shih Cheng Yen, Seeram Ramakrishna, Nitish V. Thakor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Neural electrodes are developed for direct communication with neural tissues for theranostics. Although various strategies have been employed to improve performance, creating an intimate electrode-tissue interface with high electrical fidelity remains a great challenge. Here, we report the rational design of a tunnel-like electrode coating comprising poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for highly sensitive neural recording. The coated electrode shows a 50-fold reduction in electrochemical impedance at the biologically relevant frequency of 1 kHz, compared to the bare gold electrode. The incorporation of CNT significantly reinforces the nanotunnel structure and improves coating adhesion by â1.5 fold. In vitro primary neuron culture confirms an intimate contact between neurons and the PEDOT-CNT nanotunnel. During acute in vivo nerve recording, the coated electrode enables the capture of high-fidelity neural signals with low susceptibility to electrical noise and reveals the potential for precisely decoding sensory information through mechanical and thermal stimulation. These findings indicate that the PEDOT-CNT nanotunnel composite serves as an active interfacing material for neural electrodes, contributing to neural prosthesis and brain-machine interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8059-8073
Number of pages15
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 28 2020


  • conducting polymer
  • nanostructured coating
  • neural interface
  • peripheral nervous system
  • sensory recoding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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