Ice coating –A new method of brain device insertion to mitigate acute injuries

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Background: Reduction of insertion injury is likely important to approach physiological conditions in the vicinity of implanted devices intended to interface with the surrounding brain. New methods: We have developed a novel, low-friction coating around frozen, gelatin embedded needles. By introducing a layer of thawing ice onto the gelatin, decreasing surface friction, we mitigate damage caused by the implantation. Results and comparison with existing methods: The acute effects of a transient stab on neuronal density and glial reactions were assessed 1 and 7 days post stab in rat cortex and striatum both within and outside the insertion track using immunohistochemical staining. The addition of a coat of melting ice to the frozen gelatin embedded needles reduced the insertion force with around 50 %, substantially reduced the loss neurons (i.e. reduced neuronal void), and yielded near normal levels of astrocytes within the insertion track 1 day after insertion, as compared to gelatin coated probes of the same temperature without ice coating. There were negligible effects on glial reactions and neuronal density immediately outside the insertion track of both ice coated and cold gelatin embedded needles. This new method of implantation presents a considerable improvement compared to existing modes of device insertion. Conclusions: Acute brain injuries following insertion of e.g. ultra-flexible electrodes, can be reduced by providing an outer coat of ultra-slippery thawing ice. No adverse effect of lowered implant temperature was found, opening the possibility of locking fragile electrode construct configurations in frozen gelatin, prior to implantation into the brain.

TidskriftJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatusPublished - 2020

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Neurologi


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