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Assessment of biocompatibility of chronically implanted polyimide and platinum intrafascicular electrodes

: Lago, N.; Yoshida, K.; Koch, K.P.; Navarro, X.


IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering BME 54 (2007), No.2, pp.281-290
ISSN: 0018-9294
ISSN: 1558-2531
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Longitudinal intrafascicular electrodes (LIFEs) are electrodes designed to be placed inside the peripheral nerve to improve stimulation selectivity and to increase the recording signal-to-noise ratio. We evaluated the functional and morphological effects of either Pt wire LIFEs or polyimide-based thin-film LIFEs implanted in the rat sciatic nerve for 3 mo. The newly designed thin-film LIFEs are more flexible, can be micromachined and allow placement of more active electrode sites than conventional Pt LIFEs. Functional results at 1 mo indicated an initial decline in the nerve conduction velocity and in the amplitude of muscle responses, which recovered during the following 2 mo towards normal values. Morphological results showed that both types of LIFEs induced a mild scar response and a focal but chronic inflammatory reaction, which were limited to a small area around the electrode placed in the nerve. Both types of LIFEs can be considered biocompatible and cause reversible, minimal nerve damage.