Abstract

This paper presents a new biophotonic application for large-area, high-resolution, flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology currently used to manufacture low-cost color flexible displays on plastic substrates. The new concept uses a fully addressable high resolution flexible OLED pixel array on a thin, mechanically compliant biocompatible plastic substrate to selectively stimulate and/or silence small groups of neurons on either the cortical surface or, alternatively, within the deep brain. Optical measurements from a 455 nm blue flexible OLED test structure demonstrated the ability to emit 1 ${{mW/mm}}^{2}$ of instantaneous light intensity using a 13 V, 20 Hz pulse, which meets the minimum reported intensity at $\sim$ 450 nm to induce optical stimulation in genetically modified neural tissue. Biocompatibility was successfully demonstrated by the ability to grow human epithelial cells on the surface of a full TFT process flow plastic flexible display substrate. Additionally, a new active matrix array display architecture was designed to support pulsed mode OLED operation. These preliminary results demonstrate the initial viability of extending flexible plastic substrate OLED display technology to the development of large-area, high-resolution emissive active matrix arrays for chronic optogenetic applications.

© 2014 IEEE

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