Tuning the Physically Induced Crystallinity of Microfabricated Bioresorbable Guides for Insertion of Flexible Neural Implants

Hajar Mousavi, Emmie Schoutens, Amira El Merhie, Gabriel Dieuset, Gautier Dauly, Marina Galliani, Fabrice Wendling, Esma Ismailova (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Devices that safely interface with the brain are critical to advancing neuroengineering. Thin and flexible neural implants show great promise alongside established silicon technologies. They therefore require a physical stiffener to allow their insertion into brain tissue. Bioresorbable polymer shanks are novel transient guides enabling accurate implantation using biocompatible materials that will be absorbed by the body over time. The development of materials with optimized stiffness and degradation is needed to provide minimally invasive probes with precise insertion capability under surgical conditions. A microfabrication protocol for the patterning of polyvinyl alcohol and its physical cross-linking is presented, resulting in insertion guides with precise shapes and tunable degradation and stiffness. The results demonstrate a remarkable improvement in batch fabricating micro-scale neural shanks with designed crystallinity. It results in their prolonged degradation time, evaluated in agarose gel, and remarkably improved penetrability due to the increase in mechanical stiffness. In vitro and in vivo studies support the high acceptability of this combination in interfacing with neural cells and tissue. This work represents a novel approach to the material and process engineering of bioresorbable polymers for developing fully organic and safe implants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300978
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • bioresorbable shanks
  • flexible neural implants
  • physical cross-linking
  • polyvinyl alcohol

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