3 years ago

Engineered Axonal Tracts as “Living Electrodes” for Synaptic-Based Modulation of Neural Circuitry

Engineered Axonal Tracts as “Living Electrodes” for Synaptic-Based Modulation of Neural Circuitry
Ashley Nemes, Justin C. Burrell, H. Isaac Chen, Dmitriy Petrov, Laura A. Struzyna, Dayo O. Adewole, James P. Harris, Mijail D. Serruya, D. Kacy Cullen, John A. Wolf, Reuben H. Kraft
Brain–computer interface and neuromodulation strategies relying on penetrating non-organic electrodes/optrodes are limited by an inflammatory foreign body response that ultimately diminishes performance. A novel “biohybrid” strategy is advanced, whereby living neurons, biomaterials, and microelectrode/optical technology are used together to provide a biologically-based vehicle to probe and modulate nervous-system activity. Microtissue engineering techniques are employed to create axon-based “living electrodes”, which are columnar microstructures comprised of neuronal population(s) projecting long axonal tracts within the lumen of a hydrogel designed to chaperone delivery into the brain. Upon microinjection, the axonal segment penetrates to prescribed depth for synaptic integration with local host neurons, with the perikaryal segment remaining externalized below conforming electrical–optical arrays. In this paradigm, only the biological component ultimately remains in the brain, potentially attenuating a chronic foreign-body response. Axon-based living electrodes are constructed using multiple neuronal subtypes, each with differential capacity to stimulate, inhibit, and/or modulate neural circuitry based on specificity uniquely afforded by synaptic integration, yet ultimately computer controlled by optical/electrical components on the brain surface. Current efforts are assessing the efficacy of this biohybrid interface for targeted, synaptic-based neuromodulation, and the specificity, spatial density and long-term fidelity versus conventional microelectronic or optical substrates alone. A biohybrid brain–machine interface strategy is developed using neuron/axon-based “living electrodes” within microcolumnar encasement. The perikaryal segment remains quasi-externalized under optical/electrical arrays on a brain surface, while the axonal segment is microinjected for targeted, synaptic-based neuromodulation of deep host circuitry. This biohybrid approach is at the intersection of neuroscience and engineering to establish biological intermediaries between man and machine.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201701183

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.