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Designing Tyrosine-Derived Polycarbonate Polymers for Biodegradable Regenerative Type Neural Interface Capable of Neural Recording

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7 Author(s)
Lewitus, D. ; New Jersey Center for Biomater., Rutgers, State Univ. of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA ; Vogelstein, R.J. ; Gehua Zhen ; Young-Seok Choi
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Next-generation neuroprosthetic limbs will require a reliable long-term neural interface to residual nerves in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). To this end, we have developed novel biocompatible materials and a fabrication technique to create high site-count microelectrodes for stimulating and recording from regenerated peripheral nerves. Our electrodes are based on a biodegradable tyrosine-derived polycarbonate polymer system with suitable degradation and erosion properties and a fabrication technique for deployment of the polymer in a porous, degradable, regenerative, multiluminal, multielectrode conduit. The in vitro properties of the polymer and the electrode were tuned to retain mechanical strength for over 24 days and to completely degrade and erode within 220 days. The fabrication technique resulted in a multiluminal conduit with at least 10 functioning electrodes maintaining recording site impedance in the single-digit kOhm range. Additionally, in vivo results showed that neural signals could be recorded from these devices starting at four weeks postimplantation and that signal strength increased over time. We conclude that our biodegradable regenerative-type neural interface is a good candidate for chronic high fidelity recording electrodes for integration with regenerated peripheral nerves.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )