Research ArticleNANOELECTRONICS

Ultraflexible nanoelectronic probes form reliable, glial scar–free neural integration

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Science Advances  15 Feb 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 2, e1601966
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601966

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Abstract

Implanted brain electrodes construct the only means to electrically interface with individual neurons in vivo, but their recording efficacy and biocompatibility pose limitations on scientific and clinical applications. We showed that nanoelectronic thread (NET) electrodes with subcellular dimensions, ultraflexibility, and cellular surgical footprints form reliable, glial scar–free neural integration. We demonstrated that NET electrodes reliably detected and tracked individual units for months; their impedance, noise level, single-unit recording yield, and the signal amplitude remained stable during long-term implantation. In vivo two-photon imaging and postmortem histological analysis revealed seamless, subcellular integration of NET probes with the local cellular and vasculature networks, featuring fully recovered capillaries with an intact blood-brain barrier and complete absence of chronic neuronal degradation and glial scar.

Keywords
  • neural electrode
  • ultra-flexible electronics
  • nanoelectronics
  • intracortical recording
  • in vivo imaging
  • biocompatible implant

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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