Drug release from porous silicon for stable neural interface

Sun T, Tsang WM, Park WT
Source: Other
Publication Date: (2014)
Issue: 292: 843-851
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Astrocyte, rat
Species: rat
Tissue Origin: brain
Culture Media:


70 µm-thick porous Si (PSi) layer with the pore size of 11.1 ± 7.6 nm was formed on an 8-in. Si wafer via an anodization process for the microfabrication of a microelectrode to record neural signals. To reduce host tissue responses to the microelectrode and achieve a stable neural interface, water-soluble dexamethesone (Dex) was loaded into the PSi via incubation with the drug solution overnight. After the drug loading process, the pore size of PSi reduced to 4.7 ± 2.6 nm on the basis of scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images, while its wettability was remarkably enhanced. Fluorescence images demonstrated that Dex was loaded into the porous structure of the PSi. Degradation rate of the PSi was investigated by incubation in distilled water for 21 days. Moreover, the drug release profile of the Dex-loaded PSi was a combination of an initial burst release and subsequent sustained release. To evaluate cellular responses to the drug release from the PSi, primary astrocytes were seeded on the surface of samples. After 2 days of culture, the Dex-loaded PSi could not only moderately prevent astrocyte adhesion in comparison with Si, but also more effectively suppress the activation of primary astrocytes than unloaded PSi due to the drug release. Therefore, it might be an effective method to reduce host tissue responses and stabilize the quality of the recorded neural signal by means of loading drugs into the PSi component of the microelectrode.