Comprehensive analysis of tissue preservation and recording quality from chronic multielectrode implants.
Multielectrodes have been used with great success to simultaneously record the activity of neuronal populations in awake, behaving animals. In particular, there is great promise in the use of this technique to allow the control of neuroprosthetic devices by human patients. However, it is crucial to fully characterize the tissue response to the chronic implants in animal models ahead of the initiation of human clinical trials. Here we evaluated the effects of unilateral multielectrode implants on the motor cortex of rats weekly recorded for 1-6 months using several histological methods to assess metabolic markers, inflammatory response, immediate-early gene (IEG) expression, cytoskeletal integrity and apoptotic profiles. We also investigated the correlations between each of these features and firing rates, to estimate the impact of post-implant time on neuronal recordings. Overall, limited neuronal loss and glial activation were observed on the implanted sites. Reactivity to enzymatic metabolic markers and IEG expression were not significantly different between implanted and non-implanted hemispheres. Multielectrode recordings remained viable for up to 6 months after implantation, and firing rates correlated well to the histochemical and immunohistochemical markers. Altogether, our results indicate that chronic tungsten multielectrode implants do not substantially alter the histological and functional integrity of target sites in the cerebral cortex.
Freire, MAM; Morya, E; Faber, J; Santos, JR; Guimaraes, JS; Lemos, NAM; Sameshima, K; Pereira, A; Ribeiro, S; Nicolelis, MAL
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