Research ArticleENGINEERING

Battery-free, fully implantable optofluidic cuff system for wireless optogenetic and pharmacological neuromodulation of peripheral nerves

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Science Advances  05 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaaw5296
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw5296


Studies of the peripheral nervous system rely on controlled manipulation of neuronal function with pharmacologic and/or optogenetic techniques. Traditional hardware for these purposes can cause notable damage to fragile nerve tissues, create irritation at the biotic/abiotic interface, and alter the natural behaviors of animals. Here, we present a wireless, battery-free device that integrates a microscale inorganic light-emitting diode and an ultralow-power microfluidic system with an electrochemical pumping mechanism in a soft platform that can be mounted onto target peripheral nerves for programmed delivery of light and/or pharmacological agents in freely moving animals. Biocompliant designs lead to minimal effects on overall nerve health and function, even with chronic use in vivo. The small size and light weight construction allow for deployment as fully implantable devices in mice. These features create opportunities for studies of the peripheral nervous system outside of the scope of those possible with existing technologies.

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