Engineers reveal fabrication process for transparent sensors

1 min read

University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have revealed, in a paper published in Nature Protocols, how to create and use transparent graphene neural electrode arrays in applications in electrophysiology, fluorescent microscopy, optical coherence tomography, and optogenetics.

Professor Zhenqiang Ma's group claims its see-through, implantable micro-electrode arrays for use in imaging the brain were light years beyond anything ever created.

"So many research groups started asking us for these devices that we couldn't keep up," says Prof Ma.

Although he and collaborator Prof Justin Williams patented the technology through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, they saw its potential for advancements in research.

"That little step has already resulted in an explosion of research in this field," says Williams. "We didn't want to keep this technology in our lab. We wanted to share it and expand the boundaries of its applications."

"We described how to do these things so we can start working on the next generation," Ma continues.

Now, not only are the UW-Madison researchers looking at ways to improve and build upon the technology, they also are seeking to expand its applications from neuroscience into areas such as research of stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, cardiac conditions and others.

"This paper is a gateway for other groups to explore the potential from here," Ma comments. "Our technology demonstrates one of the key in vivo applications of graphene. We expect more revolutionary research will follow in this interdisciplinary field."