Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

Elastocapillary self-assembled neurotassels for stable neural activity recordings

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Science Advances  27 Mar 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 3, eaav2842
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav2842

Abstract

Implantable neural probes that are mechanically compliant with brain tissue offer important opportunities for stable neural interfaces in both basic neuroscience and clinical applications. Here, we developed a Neurotassel consisting of an array of flexible and high–aspect ratio microelectrode filaments. A Neurotassel can spontaneously assemble into a thin and implantable fiber through elastocapillary interactions when withdrawn from a molten, tissue-dissolvable polymer. Chronically implanted Neurotassels elicited minimal neuronal cell loss in the brain and enabled stable activity recordings of the same population of neurons in mice learning to perform a task. Moreover, Neurotassels can be readily scaled up to 1024 microelectrode filaments, each with a neurite-scale cross-sectional footprint of 3 × 1.5 μm2, to form implantable fibers with a total diameter of ~100 μm. With their ultrasmall sizes, high flexibility, and scalability, Neurotassels offer a new approach for stable neural activity recording and neuroprosthetics.

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