Electrical Neural Stimulation and Simultaneous in Vivo Monitoring with Transparent Graphene Electrode Arrays Implanted in GCaMP6f Mice

Dong Wook Park, Jared P. Ness, Sarah K. Brodnick, Corinne Esquibel, Joseph Novello, Farid Atry, Dong Hyun Baek, Hyungsoo Kim, Jihye Bong, Kyle I. Swanson, Aaron J. Suminski, Kevin J. Otto, Ramin Pashaie, Justin C. Williams, Zhenqiang Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Electrical stimulation using implantable electrodes is widely used to treat various neuronal disorders such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy and is a widely used research tool in neuroscience studies. However, to date, devices that help better understand the mechanisms of electrical stimulation in neural tissues have been limited to opaque neural electrodes. Imaging spatiotemporal neural responses to electrical stimulation with minimal artifact could allow for various studies that are impossible with existing opaque electrodes. Here, we demonstrate electrical brain stimulation and simultaneous optical monitoring of the underlying neural tissues using carbon-based, fully transparent graphene electrodes implanted in GCaMP6f mice. Fluorescence imaging of neural activity for varying electrical stimulation parameters was conducted with minimal image artifact through transparent graphene electrodes. In addition, full-field imaging of electrical stimulation verified more efficient neural activation with cathode leading stimulation compared to anode leading stimulation. We have characterized the charge density limitation of capacitive four-layer graphene electrodes as 116.07-174.10 μC/cm2 based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, failure bench testing, and in vivo testing. This study demonstrates the transparent ability of graphene neural electrodes and provides a method to further increase understanding and potentially improve therapeutic electrical stimulation in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - 23 Jan 2018


  • GCaMP6
  • electrical stimulation
  • graphene electrode
  • neural electrode
  • neural implants


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