Polymeric barrier membranes for device packaging, diffusive control and biocompatibility

J. M. Wasikiewicz, N. Roohpour, D. Paul, M. Grahn, D. Ateh, I. Rehman, P. Vadgama

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Current state-of-the-art implantable micron feature electronic devices are capable of monitoring and stimulating functions in vivo. Within an EU Framework VI project a further step was taken in developing key microsystem technologies and communication methods that could bring intelligence directly to the human interface, in the form of reactive medical implants and ambulatory measurement systems. Information from these devices is planned to be transmitted out into the wider environment for remote processing. However, the packaging of such state-of-the-art devices to enhance tissue biocompatibility, and to protect conducting elements from in vivo corrosion during extended use, along with protecting the body from toxins leaching from implant components, remains a concern. Candidate polymeric barriers as hydration resistant and solute impermeable interfaces to mitigate such major problems of chronic implantation were investigated. Materials studied included silicone rubber, PVC, polyurethane, and diamond-like carbon (DLC). Polymer permeability to water solutes was marginally improved through incorporation of lipid into these structures. Surface biocompatibility was assessed on the basis of protein film deposition in vitro and by cell viability studies in tissue culture. Short-term toxicity was not observed for any of the tested materials, though there were substantial differences in hydration. Additionally, polypyrrole over active electrodes shows feasibility for controlled tissue interfacing whilst retaining electrical conductivity. © 2008.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)340-343
    Number of pages3
    JournalApplied Surface Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2008


    • Diamond-like carbon
    • Polymer packing
    • Polyurethane
    • PVC
    • Silicone


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