Learning from the brain's architecture: bioinspired strategies towards implantable neural interfaces.
Current opinion in biotechnology
2021; 72: 8-12
While early neural interfaces consisted of rigid, monolithic probes, recent implantable technologies include meshes, gels, and threads that imitate various properties of the neural tissue itself. Such mimicry brings new capabilities to the traditional electrophysiology toolbox, with benefits for both neuroscience studies and clinical treatments. Specifically, by matching the multi-dimensional mechanical properties of the brain, neural implants can preserve the endogenous environment while functioning over chronic timescales. Further, topological mimicry of neural structures enables seamless integration into the tissue and provides proximal access to neurons for high-quality recordings. Ultimately, we envision that neuromorphic devices incorporating functional, mechanical, and topological mimicry of the brain may facilitate stable operation of advanced brain machine interfaces with minimal disruption of the native tissue.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.copbio.2021.07.020
View details for PubMedID 34365114
How is flexible electronics advancing neuroscience research?
2020; 268: 120559
Innovative neurotechnology must be leveraged to experimentally answer the multitude of pressing questions in modern neuroscience. Driven by the desire to address the existing neuroscience problems with newly engineered tools, we discuss in this review the benefits of flexible electronics for neuroscience studies. We first introduce the concept and define the properties of flexible and stretchable electronics. We then categorize the four dimensions where flexible electronics meets the demands of modern neuroscience: chronic stability, interfacing multiple structures, multi-modal compatibility, and neuron-type-specific recording. Specifically, with the bending stiffness now approaching that of neural tissue, implanted flexible electronic devices produce little shear motion, minimizing chronic immune responses and enabling recording and stimulation for months, and even years. The unique mechanical properties of flexible electronics also allow for intimate conformation to the brain, the spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and the retina. Moreover, flexible electronics enables optogenetic stimulation, microfluidic drug delivery, and neural activity imaging during electrical stimulation and recording. Finally, flexible electronics can enable neuron-type identification through analysis of high-fidelity recorded action potentials facilitated by its seamless integration with the neural circuitry. We argue that flexible electronics will play an increasingly important role in neuroscience studies and neurological therapies via the fabrication of neuromorphic devices on flexible substrates and the development of enhanced methods of neuronal interpenetration.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2020.120559
View details for PubMedID 33310538
- An "All-in-One" Catheter: Surgery of the Future MATTER 2020; 3 (6): 1829–31