Impedance characteristics of deep brain stimulation electrodes in vitro and in vivo.
The objective of this study was to quantify the electrode-tissue interface impedance of electrodes used for deep brain stimulation (DBS). We measured the impedance of DBS electrodes using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in vitro in a carbonate- and phosphate-buffered saline solution and in vivo following acute implantation in the brain. The components of the impedance, including the series resistance (R(s)), the Faradaic resistance (R(f)) and the double layer capacitance (C(dl)), were estimated using an equivalent electrical circuit. Both R(f) and C(dl) decreased as the sinusoidal frequency was increased, but the ratio of the capacitive charge transfer to the Faradaic charge transfer was relatively insensitive to the change of frequency. R(f) decreased and C(dl) increased as the current density was increased, and above a critical current density the interface impedance became nonlinear. Thus, the magnitude of the interface impedance was strongly dependent on the intensity (pulse amplitude and duration) of stimulation. The temporal dependence and spatial non-uniformity of R(f) and C(dl) suggested that a distributed network, with each element of the network having dynamics tailored to a specific stimulus waveform, is required to describe adequately the impedance of the DBS electrode-tissue interface. Voltage transients to biphasic square current pulses were measured and suggested that the electrode-tissue interface did not operate in a linear range at clinically relevant current amplitudes, and that the assumption of the DBS electrode being ideally polarizable was not valid under clinical stimulating conditions.
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