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Mechanical Flexibility Reduces the Foreign Body Response to Long-Term Implanted Microelectrodes in Rabbit Cortex

Lookup NU author(s): Harbaljit Sohal, Dr Gavin ClowryORCiD, Professor Andrew Jackson, Professor Anthony O'Neill, Professor Stuart BakerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Micromotion between the brain and implanted electrodes is a major contributor to the failure of invasive microelectrodes. Movements of the electrode tip cause recording instabilities while spike amplitudes decline over the weeks/months post-implantation due to glial cell activation caused by sustained mechanical trauma. We compared the glial response over a 26-96 week period following implantation in the rabbit cortex of microwires and a novel flexible electrode. Horizontal sections were used to obtain a depth profile of the radial distribution of microglia, astrocytes and neurofilament. We found that the flexible electrode was associated with decreased gliosis compared to the microwires over these long indwelling periods. This was in part due to a decrease in overall microgliosis and enhanced neuronal density around the flexible probe, especially at longer periods of implantation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sohal HS, Clowry GJ, Jackson A, O'Neill A, Baker SN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS One

Year: 2016

Volume: 11

Issue: 10

Online publication date: 27/10/2016

Acceptance date: 15/10/2016

Date deposited: 17/01/2017

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165606


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