This paper presents vibration-assisted insertion of flexible neural electrodes with bio-dissolvable guides to deliver accurate microprobe insertion with minimized tissue damage. Invasive flexible neural microprobe is an important new tool for neuromodulation and recording research for medical neurology treatment applications. Flexible neural electrode probes are susceptible to bending and buckling during surgical implantation due to the thin and flexible soft substrates. Inspired by insects in nature, a vibration-assisted insertion technique is developed for flexible neural electrode insertion to deliver accurate microprobe insertion with minimized tissue damage. A three-dimensional combined longitudinal-twisting (L&T) vibration is used to reduce the insertion friction force, and thus reducing soft tissue damage. To reduce the flexible microelectrode buckling during surgical insertion, a bio-dissolvable Polyethylene glycol (PEG) guide is developed for the enhancement of flexible neural probe stiffness. Combining these two methods, the insertion performance of the flexible neural probe is significantly improved. Both the in vitro and the in vivo experiments were conducted to validate the proposed techniques.

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