Health care and devices used to deliver and monitor health are unquestionably among the most important and critical elements in our society today, and they will continue to become even more important in the future as the world population grows, and as the demand for improved quality and more diverse distribution of health services delivered grows. During the past few decades, we have seen a significant improvement in our understanding of various diseases, in the development of new and exciting tools to fight and detect diseases, and obviously in the cost of delivering health care. Prevention and treatment are equally important as our society moves into the twenty first century, and with these we see an ever-increasing need for better equipment and facilities to assist in delivering the highest quality health care. These equipment need to provide the highest performance at the lowest possible cost. In spite of significant progress having been made in both of these areas, we are now indeed witnessing limitations being imposed on our health care delivery due to very high costs involved. Any new technology that can help reduce this cost will undoubtedly find a significant market and will lay the foundation for the development of a new generation of biomedical systems. One such technology is that of miniaturization and microelectronics-based biomedical devices and systems that are being developed using integrated circuit and micromachining technologies. Solid-state sensors and actuators are a very important component in the development of the next-generation biomedical devices and systems that promise to influence the health care system in ways never imagined before. This chapter focuses on recent advancements made in the development of miniature solid-state biomedical devices and systems for neurophysiological applications for the development of closed-loop neural prostheses.
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