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Neurobiological assessment of regenerative electrodes for bidirectional interfacing injured peripheral nerves

: Lago, N.; Udina, E.; Ramachandran, A.; Navarro, X.


IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering BME 54 (2007), No.6, pp.1129-1137
ISSN: 0018-9294
ISSN: 1558-2531
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Regenerative electrodes are designed to interface regenerated axons from a sectioned peripheral nerve. Applicability of regenerative electrodes depends on biocompatibility, success of axonal regeneration, secondary nerve damage, and adequacy of interface electronics. Polyimide sieve electrodes with 281 holes were chronically implanted in the severed sciatic nerve of 30 rats. Regeneration was successful in all the animals, with increasing numbers of regenerated myelinated fibers from 2 to 6 mo. However, constrictive axonopathy affected a few cases from 6 to 12 mo. postimplantation. A second electrode design with 571 holes and 27 ring electrodes was developed. The number of regenerated axons increased thanks to the larger open area. Recordings were obtained from a low proportion of electrodes on the sieve in response to distal stimulation. Difficulties for recording impulses with regenerative electrodes include the small size of regenerated axons, changes in membrane excitability and in target reconnection.