논문 초록

Wire Electrodes Embedded in Artificial Conduit for Long-term Monitoring of the Peripheral Nerve Signal
Massive efforts to develop neural interfaces have been made for controlling prosthetic limbs according to the will of the patient, with the ultimate goal being long-term implantation. One of the major struggles is that the electrode’s performance degrades over time due to scar formation. Herein, we have developed peripheral nerve electrodes with a cone-shaped flexible artificial conduit capable of protecting wire electrodes from scar formation. The wire electrodes, which are composed of biocompatible alloy materials, were embedded in the conduit where the inside was filled with collagen to allow the damaged nerves to regenerate into the conduit and interface with the wire electrodes. After implanting the wire electrodes into the sciatic nerve of a rat, we successfully recorded the peripheral neural signals while providing mechanical stimulation. Remarkably, we observed the external stimuli-induced nerve signals at 19 weeks after implantation. This is possibly due to axon regeneration inside our platform. To verify the tissue response of our electrodes to the sciatic nerve, we performed immunohistochemistry (IHC) and observed axon regeneration without scar tissue forming inside the conduit. Thus, our strategy has proven that our neural interface can play a significant role in the long-term monitoring of the peripheral nerve signal.
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