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Assessment of biocompatibility and biological effects of LIFEs implanted in the peripheral nerve in the rat model

Longitudinal intrafascicular electrodes (LIFEs) placed inside the peripheral nerve have been developed in order to improve selectivity with respect to extraneural electrodes and to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of recordings. We evaluated the functional and morphological effects of either Pt wire LIFEs or polyimide-based thin-film LIFEs implanted in the rat sciatic nerve for 3 months. Functional results at 1 month indicated an initial decline in nerve conduction velocity and in the amplitude of muscle responses, which recovered during the following 2 months towards normal values. Morphological results showed that both types of LIFEs induced a mild scar response and a focal but chronic inflammatory reaction, which were limited to a small area around the electrode placed in the nerve. Both types of LIFEs can be considered biocompatible and cause reversible, minimal nerve damage.

Reported by

Grup de Neuroplasticitat i Regeneracio, Dept. Biologia Cel.lular, Fisiologia i Immunologia, Institut de Neurociencies, Edif. M