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Micromachines 2018, 9(9), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9090443

A Meta-Analysis of Intracortical Device Stiffness and Its Correlation with Histological Outcomes

Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800W. Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Microelectrodes: Design and Applications)
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Abstract

Neural implants offer solutions for a variety of clinical issues. While commercially available devices can record neural signals for short time periods, they fail to do so chronically, partially due to the sustained tissue response around the device. Our objective was to assess the correlation between device stiffness, a function of both material modulus and cross-sectional area, and the severity of immune response. Meta-analysis data were derived from nine previously published studies which reported device material and geometric properties, as well as histological outcomes. Device bending stiffness was calculated by treating the device shank as a cantilevered beam. Immune response was quantified through analysis of immunohistological images from each study, specifically looking at fluorescent markers for neuronal nuclei and astrocytes, to assess neuronal dieback and gliosis. Results demonstrate that the severity of the immune response, within the first 50 µm of the device, is highly correlated with device stiffness, as opposed to device modulus or cross-sectional area independently. In general, commercially available devices are around two to three orders of magnitude higher in stiffness than devices which induced a minimal tissue response. These results have implications for future device designs aiming to decrease chronic tissue response and achieve increased long-term functionality. View Full-Text
Keywords: intracortical implant; microelectrodes; stiffness; immunohistochemistry; immune response; neural interface response; neural interface intracortical implant; microelectrodes; stiffness; immunohistochemistry; immune response; neural interface response; neural interface
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Stiller, A.M.; Black, B.J.; Kung, C.; Ashok, A.; Cogan, S.F.; Varner, V.D.; Pancrazio, J.J. A Meta-Analysis of Intracortical Device Stiffness and Its Correlation with Histological Outcomes. Micromachines 2018, 9, 443.

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