Stretching the boundaries of neural implants

Rubbery, multifunctional fibers could be used to study spinal cord neurons and potentially restore function.
David L. Chandler | MIT News Office

Image: Chi (Alice) Lu and Seongjun Park Credit: MIT

Implantable fibers have been an enormous boon to brain research, allowing scientists to stimulate specific targets in the brain and monitor electrical responses. But similar studies in the nerves of the spinal cord, which might ultimately lead to treatments to alleviate spinal cord injuries, have been more difficult to carry out. That’s because the spine flexes and stretches as the body moves, and the relatively stiff, brittle fibers used today could damage the delicate spinal cord tissue.

Now, researchers have developed a rubber-like fiber that can flex and stretch while simultaneously delivering both optical impulses, for optoelectronic stimulation, and electrical connections, for stimulation and monitoring. The new fibers are described in a paper in the journal Science Advances, by MIT graduate students Chi (Alice) Lu and Seongjun Park, Professor Polina Anikeeva, and eight others at MIT, the University of Washington, and Oxford University.

Read the Full Article Here:

Read the Full Paper at Science Advances HERE:

Engineering a spinal cord repair kit at MIT – Science Nation (Professor Polina Anikeeva) Posted Earlier

This entry was posted in Biomaterials, Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Regenerative Medicine, Spinal Research. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s