Direct interfacing of transected peripheral nerves with advanced robotic prosthetic devices has been proposed as a strategy for achieving natural motor control and sensory perception of such bionic substitutes, thus fully functionally replacing missing limbs in amputees. Multi-electrode arrays placed in the brain and peripheral nerves have been used successfully to convey neural control of prosthetic devices to the user. However, reactive gliosis, micro hemorrhages, axonopathy and excessive inflammation currently limit their long-term use. Here we demonstrate that enticement of peripheral nerve regeneration through a non-obstructive multi-electrode array, after either acute or chronic nerve amputation, offers a viable alternative to obtain early neural recordings and to enhance long-term interfacing of nerve activity. Non-restrictive electrode arrays placed in the path of regenerating nerve fibers allowed the recording of action potentials as early as 8 days post-implantation with high signal-to-noise ratio, as long as 3 months in some animals, and with minimal inflammation at the nerve tissue-metal electrode interface. Our findings suggest that regenerative multi-electrode arrays of open design allow early and stable interfacing of neural activity from amputated peripheral nerves and might contribute towards conveying full neural control and sensory feedback to users of robotic prosthetic devices. © 2009 Garde, Keefer, Botterman, Galvan and Romero.
Garde, K., Keefer, E., Botterman, B., Galvan, P., & Romero-Ortega, M. I. (2009). Early interfaced neural activity from chronic amputated nerves. Frontiers in Neuroengineering, 2(MAY). https://doi.org/10.3389/neuro.16.005.2009