University Park, Pennsylvania — Understanding the neural interfaces in the brain is critical to understanding aging, learning, disease progression, and more. However, existing methods for studying neurons in animal brains to better understand the human brain all have limitations, from being too invasive to not detecting enough information. A newly developed pop-up electrode device can collect more detailed information about individual neurons and their interactions while limiting the potential for brain tissue damage.
Researchers co-led by Huanyu “Larry” ChengJames L. Henderson Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics in the School of Engineering published the results npj flexible electronics.
“It’s difficult to understand the connections between the many neuronal cells in the brain,” Cheng said. “In the past, devices have been developed that are placed directly on the cortex to detect less invasive superficial information. However, it is difficult to detect intercortical information without inserting the device into the brain. ”
In response to this limitation, researchers have developed probe-based electrodes that are inserted into the brain. The problem with this method is that her 3D layout of neurons and brain cannot be obtained without using multiple probes that are difficult to place on flexible surfaces and damage brain tissue.
“We use popup designs to address this problem,” says Cheng. “We can manufacture sensor electrodes with resolution and performance comparable to existing manufacturing. But at the same time, we can also pop up in 3D geometry before inserting it into the brain. Similar to a pop-up book for children. shape and then apply compressive force.Transforms 2D into 3D.Provides performance comparable to 2D to 3D devices.”
In addition to a unique design that pops up in three dimensions after being inserted into the brain, the researchers say their device also uses a combination of materials never before used in this particular manner. I was. Specifically, polyethylene glycol, a previously used material, was used as a biocompatible coating to create rigidity, which was not the purpose previously used.
“In order to insert the device into the brain, it needs to be stiff, but after it is inserted into the brain, it needs to be flexible.” Once the device is inside the brain, the hard coating dissolves and restores its initial flexibility.The combination of the material structure and shape of this device allows it to take input from the brain and create 3D neuronal connectivity. will be able to study.”
The next step in research involves iterating on designs that not only help us better understand the brain, but also aid in surgery and disease treatment.
“In addition to animal studies, some applications of the use of the device could be surgery or treatment of diseases that do not require removal of the device, but we would like to ensure that the device remains biocompatible over the long term. We need to,” said Chen. “It’s beneficial to design the structure to be as small, soft and porous as possible. This allows the device to be used as a scaffold for brain tissue to penetrate and grow on, leading to much better recovery.” We also want to use biodegradable materials that dissolve after use.”
Other contributors are Ju Yong Lee, Sang Hoon Park, Eugene Kim, Yong Wook Cho, Jae Jin Park, Jung Hoon Hong, Kim Gyu Beng, Jung Eun Shin, Jung Eun Park Joo, Yin Shik Min, and Mingyu Sang from Yonsei University. of South Korea; Hyogeun Shin, Ui-Jin Jeong, Aizhan Zhumbayeva, Kyung Yeun Kim, Eun-Bin Hong, Min-Ho Nam, Hojeong Jeon, and Youngmee Jung of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Il-Joo Cho of Korea University in South Korea. He is Yuyan Gao and Bowen Li from Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics.
The National Research Foundation of Korea and the National Institutes of Health funded this study.
npj flexible electronics
A Foldable Three-Dimensional Neural Electrode Array for Simultaneous Brain Interfacing of Cortical Surface and Intracortical Multilayers
Article publication date
October 27, 2022
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! EurekAlert! is not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted. Use of information by contributors or via the EurekAlert system.