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Conducting polymer-based drug release coating for electrodes

Research Achievements

Conducting polymer-based drug release coating for electrodes

IGERT student Nicholas Alba, working in the lab of Dr. Tracy Cui at the University of Pittsburgh, has been developing a conducting polymer-based drug release coating for use in neural recording and stimulation electrodes. The coating is produced through the synthesis of multi-walled carbon nanotube-doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) further incorporating a bioactive agent which will be released when an electrical stimulus is applied. The coatings are inexpensive, robust, and can enhance the recording or stimulating performance of the electrodes to which they're applied. In order to understand the dynamic changes in coated electrode impedance following in vivo implantation (in rats), Alba explored circuit models of the electrode/ coating/ tissue interface. When simple models poorly fit his experimental data, he created a more sophisticated model using a dual-channel transmission line-based distributed element that gives a good fit. A journal paper on this work is under review.