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Researchers develop implantable gadget that may document a set of particular person neurons over months

Researchers develop implantable device that can record a collection of individual neurons over months
{Photograph} of elastomer-encapsulated neural probes with 4 layers of electrode arrays. Credit score: Jia Liu Group/Harvard SEAS

Recording the exercise of huge populations of single neurons within the mind over lengthy intervals of time is essential to additional our understanding of neural circuits, to allow novel medical device-based therapies and, sooner or later, for mind–pc interfaces requiring high-resolution electrophysiological data.

However at this time there’s a tradeoff between how a lot high-resolution data an implanted gadget can measure and the way lengthy it may possibly keep recording or stimulation performances. Inflexible, silicon implants with many sensors, can accumulate a variety of data however cannot keep within the physique for very lengthy. Versatile, smaller gadgets are much less intrusive and may last more within the mind however solely present a fraction of the accessible neural data.

Just lately, an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson College of Engineering and Utilized Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with The College of Texas at Austin, MIT and Axoft, Inc., developed a delicate implantable gadget with dozens of sensors that may document single-neuron exercise within the mind stably for months.

The analysis was printed in Nature Nanotechnology.

“We’ve got developed mind–electronics interfaces with single-cell decision which can be extra biologically compliant than conventional supplies,” mentioned Paul Le Floch, first writer of the paper and former graduate pupil within the lab of Jia Liu, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS. “This work has the potential to revolutionize the design of bioelectronics for neural recording and stimulation, and for mind–pc interfaces.”

Le Floch is presently the CEO of Axoft, Inc, an organization based in 2021 by Le Floch, Liu and Tianyang Ye, a former graduate pupil and postdoctoral fellow within the Park Group at Harvard. Harvard’s Workplace of Expertise Improvement has protected the mental property related to this analysis and licensed the know-how to Axoft for additional improvement.

To beat the tradeoff between high-resolution information price and longevity, the researchers turned to a bunch of supplies referred to as fluorinated elastomers. Fluorinated supplies, like Teflon, are resilient, secure in biofluids, have glorious long-term dielectic efficiency, and are appropriate with customary microfabrication methods.

The researchers built-in these fluorinated dielectric elastomers with stacks of soppy microelectrodes—64 sensors in whole—to develop a long-lasting probe that’s 10,000 occasions softer than typical versatile probes manufactured from supplies engineering plastics, similar to polyimide or parylene C.

The group demonstrated the gadget in vivo, recording neural data from the mind and spinal cords of mice over the course of a number of months.

“Our analysis highlights that, by fastidiously engineering varied elements, it’s possible to design novel elastomers for long-term-stable neural interfaces,” mentioned Liu, who’s the corresponding writer of the paper. “This examine might develop the vary of design potentialities for neural interfaces.”

The interdisciplinary analysis group additionally included SEAS Professors Katia Bertoldi, Boris Kozinsky and Zhigang Suo.

“Designing new neural probes and interfaces is a really interdisciplinary downside that requires experience in biology, electrical engineering, supplies science, mechanical and chemical engineering,” mentioned Le Floch.

The analysis was co-authored by Siyuan Zhao, Ren Liu, Nicola Molinari, Eder Medina, Hao Shen, Zheliang Wang, Junsoo Kim, Hao Sheng, Sebastian Partarrieu, Wenbo Wang, Chanan Sessler, Guogao Zhang, Hyunsu Park, Xian Gong, Andrew Spencer, Jongha Lee, Tianyang Ye, Xin Tang, Xiao Wang and Nanshu Lu.

Extra data:
Paul Le Floch et al, 3D spatiotemporally scalable in vivo neural probes primarily based on fluorinated elastomers, Nature Nanotechnology (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41565-023-01545-6

Researchers develop implantable gadget that may document a set of particular person neurons over months (2024, January 26)
retrieved 28 January 2024

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