Biological and Electrophysiologic Effects of Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) on Regenerating Peripheral Nerve Fibers
ABSTRACT Uninjured peripheral nerves in upper-limb amputees represent attractive sites for connectivity with neuroprostheses because their predictable internal topography allows for precise sorting of motor and sensory signals. The inclusion of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) reduces impedance and improves charge transfer at the biotic-abiotic interface. This study evaluates the in vivo performance of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-coated interpositional decellularized nerve grafts across a critical nerve conduction gap, and examines the long-term effects of two different poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) formulations on regenerating peripheral nerve fibers.
In 48 rats, a 15-mm gap in the common peroneal nerve was repaired using a nerve graft of equivalent length, including (1) decellularized nerve chemically polymerized with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (dry); (2) decellularized nerve electrochemically polymerized with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (wet); (3) intact nerve; (4) autogenous nerve graft; (5) decellularized nerve alone; and (6) unrepaired nerve gap controls. All groups underwent electrophysiologic characterization at 3 months, and nerves were harvested for histomorphometric analysis.
Conduction velocity was significantly faster in the dry poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) group compared with the sham, decellularized nerve, and wet poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) groups. Maximum specific force for the dry poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) group was more similar to sham than were decellularized nerve controls. Evident neural regeneration was demonstrated in both dry and wet poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) groups by the presence of normal regenerating axons on histologic cross-section.
Both poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) formulations were compatible with peripheral nerve regeneration at 3 months. This study supports poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) as a promising adjunct for peripheral nerve interfaces for prosthetic control and other biomedical applications because of its recognized ionic-to-electronic coupling potential.
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ABSTRACT: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has funded innovative scientific research and technology developments in the field of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) since the 1970s. This review highlights some of DARPA's major advances in the field of BCI, particularly those made in recent years. Two broad categories of DARPA programs are presented with respect to the ultimate goals of supporting the nation's warfighters: 1) BCI efforts aimed at restoring neural and/or behavioral function, and 2) BCI efforts aimed at improving human training and performance. The programs discussed are synergistic and complementary to one another, and, moreover, promote interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers, engineers, and clinicians. Finally, this review includes a summary of some of the remaining challenges for the field of BCI, as well as the goals of new DARPA efforts in this domain.Journal of Neuroscience Methods 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.07.019 · 1.96 Impact Factor