Qualia has developed a method that enables the use of standard electronics microfabrication processes to manufacture neural interface devices – including cuffs, blankets, spinal cord devices, intrafascicular probes, penetrating brain probes, and epicortical arrays – on shape memory polymers (SMPs). The SMP substrates can withstand the solvents and high temperatures involved in photolithography processing, thus allowing us to take advantage of the high-quality repeatability of these processes. The SMP also gives the device the necessary mechanical stiffness for surgical handling. Once implanted, the substrate softens by orders of magnitude to reduce tissue strain, resulting in improved tissue response and device performance over longer periods of time.
Standard devices have titanium nitride (TiN) electrodes sputtered onto a gold conducting layer that is covalently bonded to the SMP substrate. The TiN electrodes offer high charge injection capacity while the strong bond between the conducting layer and SMP insulation helps to prevent delamination of the device after implantation. Additional electrode options such as sputtered iridium oxide film (SIROF) and platinum are also offered on our devices.