Thin-film multi-electrode arrays (MEA) having one or more electrically conductive beams conformally encapsulated in a seamless block of electrically insulating material, and methods of fabricating such MEAs using reproducible, microfabrication processes. One or more electrically conductive traces are formed on scaffold material that is subsequently removed to suspend the traces over a substrate by support portions of the trace beam in contact with the substrate. By encapsulating the suspended traces, either individually or together, with a single continuous layer of an electrically insulating material, a seamless block of electrically insulating material is formed that conforms to the shape of the trace beam structure, including any trace backings which provide suspension support. Electrical contacts, electrodes, or leads of the traces are exposed from the encapsulated trace beam structure by removing the substrate.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.