Assessment of biocompatibility of chronically implanted polyimide and platinum intrafascicular electrodes

Natalia Lago, Ken Yoshida, Klaus P. Koch, Xavier Navarro

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178 Citations (Scopus)


Longitudinal intrafascicular electrodes (LIFEs) are electrodes designed to be placed inside the peripheral nerve to improve stimulation selectivity and to increase the recording signal- to-noise ratio. We evaluated the functional and morphological effects of either Pt wire LIFEs or polyimide-based thin-film LIFEs implanted in the rat sciatic nerve for 3 mo. The newly designed thin-film LIFEs are more flexible, can be micromachined and allow placement of more active electrode sites than conventional Pt LIFEs. Functional results at 1 mo indicated an initial decline in the nerve conduction velocity and in the amplitude of muscle responses, which recovered during the following 2 mo towards normal values. Morphological results showed that both types of LIFEs induced a mild scar response and a focal but chronic inflammatory reaction, which were limited to a small area around the electrode placed in the nerve. Both types of LIFEs can be considered biocompatible and cause reversible, minimal nerve damage. © 2007 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Pages (from-to)281-290
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Interface
  • Intrafascicular electrode
  • Neuroprosthesis
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Polyimide


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