Morphologic and functional evaluation of peripheral nerve fibers regenerated through polyimide sieve electrodes over long-term implantation

Dolores Ceballos, Antoni Valero-Cabr, Elena Valderrama, Martin Schttler, Thomas Stieglitz, Xavier Navarro

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49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluated by morphologic and functional analysis the regeneration of peripheral nerve fibers through polyimide regenerative-type electrodes over long-term implantation. Polyimide sieve electrodes were placed in silicone chambers and implanted between the severed ends of the sciatic nerve in rats. The sieve part had 281 round via holes of 40 μm in diameter, with nine integrated recording-stimulating electrodes arranged around the via holes. The degree of axonal regeneration was examined at 2, 7, and 12 months postimplantation (mpi). Regeneration was successful in 12 of the 13 animals implanted. Reinnervation of distal muscle and nerves increased with time, reaching a plateau about 7 mpi. The number of myelinated fibers increased from 2 to 7 months, at which time it was similar to control values. With time the myelinated fibers matured, with significant increases in axon diameter and myelin thickness. Only 0.6% of the regenerated axons showed evidence of compression near the implanted electrode. The majority of the myelinated fibers that crossed the via holes and had been regenerated through the distal nerve had a normal appearance. Sieve electrodes were useful for nerve stimulation at postimplantation. Stimulation through different active electrodes excited nerve bundles, evoking compound muscle action potentials of varying shape and amplitude, indicative of selective axonal stimulation. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-528
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2002

Keywords

  • Nerve regeneration
  • Neural prosthesis
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Polyimide
  • Regenerative electrode
  • Sieve

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