Rising Stars 2020:

Behnoush Rostami

PhD Candidate

University of Michigan

Areas of Interest

  • Micro/Nano Electro Mechanical Systems


Design and Fabrication of High-Density High-Electrode-Count Silicon-Based Micro-Probe Array


High-dimensional complex geometry of the brain includes some hard-to-reach non-planar regions, in which, the high spatiotemporal resolution recordings and stimulation of neurons for accurate mapping and deciphering neural circuits is a major concern. Consequently, three dimensional (3D) arrays of micro-electrodes with customizable dimensions, density and distribution are desired for massive-scale neural recordings and stimulations of 3D complex brain regions. In this work, we propose a new silicon-based micro-fabrication technology to fabricate 3D arrays of extremely fine electrodes with user-defined length, width, shape and tip profile. This novel fabrication process is based on etching ultra-deep high aspect ratio holes in a silicon substrate followed by refilling them and eventually etching away the bulk silicon substrate to release numerous extremely fine and slender needles. The silicon-based structure of these 3D array probes with sharp tips, makes them stiff enough and easily implantable in the brain to reach a targeted region without failing. Moreover, the high aspect ratio of these extremely fine needles makes them very compliant for stress-reducing implants. This technology allows the user to design a multi-shank array with a number of shanks in any arbitrary pattern which potentially allows the integration of optical waveguides and microfluidic channels along with electrical recording or stimulation. Each needle can support one site for interfacing with tissue and many needles can be densely packed with a spacing of ten microns or more.


Behnoush Rostami received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (Electronics) and M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (Bioelectronics) from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Since Fall 2017, she has been pursuing her Ph.D. degree at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA in Electrical Engineering, majoring in Bio-MEMS. She is currently working on design and fabrication of Sea-of-Electrode Arrays (SEA) for massive-scale, customizable neural recordings from 3-dimensionally complex brain regions.

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