A Peripheral Nerve Information Transducer for Amputees: Long-Term Multichannel Recordings from Rabbit Peripheral Nerves
A micromachined silicon technology is being developed for the purpose of sensing information from the stumps of amputated mammalian peripheral nerves. Information on long-term biocompatibility, anatomy, and physiology related to the structural design of this sensor is presented. Pertinent materials, fabrication, and surgical implantation issues are discussed. Noise, signal amplitude, and receptive field are considered as the prime determinants of the design of an appropriate electrode contact geometry for the structure. The selectivity of the device is also discussed in terms of the fine structure of the regenerated nerve. Examples of waveforms recorded from rabbit peripheral nerves using this sensor are presented and discussed in terms of electrical and physiological parameters. Possible use of the sensor as a source for a binary code suitable for communication of information to a computer is presented along with discussion of the limitations of the current technology and possible future applications.
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