Neural engineering to produce in vitro nerve constructs and neurointerface

Bryan J. Pfister, Jason H. Huang, Niranjan Kameswaran, Eric L. Zager, Douglas H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Recently, our laboratory recapitulated a natural form of axon growth that occurs between late embryogenesis and early adulthood. In this article, we describe how this novel neural engineering approach may be used to produce a nervous tissue interface to integrate disconnected motor and sensory functions for external control. METHODS: For nervous system repair, we recently developed a unique method to engineer nervous tissue constructs in vitro consisting of bundles of axons spanning two populations of neuronal somata. To integrate electronics and nervous tissue to transform electrophysiological signals into electronic signals, we have designed a nervous tissue interface. RESULTS: Our nervous tissue interface consists of stretch-grown nervous tissue with one end interfaced with a multiple electrode array, enabling us to detect and record real-time efferent signals conducted down the nerve and stimulate afferent sensory signaling. CONCLUSION: Our ultimate goal is to develop a neurally controlled prosthesis and a nervous system interface that could be linked to the patient's thoughts, providing two-way signaling for motor control and feedback from multiple external stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Keywords

  • Nervous system repair
  • Neurally controlled prosthesis
  • Peripheral nerve injury
  • Signaling

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