The present study was aimed at developing a new strategy to design and anchor custom-fitted implants, consisting of a head fixation device and a chronic recording chamber, on the skull of adult macaque monkeys. This was done without the use of dental resin or orthopedic cement, as these modes of fixation exert a detrimental effect on the bone. The implants were made of titanium or tekapeek and anchored to the skull with titanium screws. Two adult macaque monkeys were initially implanted with the head fixation device several months previous to electrophysiological investigation, to allow optimal osseous-integration, including growth of the bone above the implant's footplate. In a second step, the chronic recording chamber was implanted above the brain region of interest. The present study proposes two original approaches for both implants. First, based on a CT scan of the monkey, a plastic replicate of the skull was obtained in the form of a 3D print, used to accurately shape and position the two implants. This would ensure a perfect match with the skull surface. Second, the part of the implants in contact with the bone was coated with hydroxyapatite, presenting chemical similarity to natural bone, thus promoting excellent osseous-integration. The longevity of the implants used here was 4 years for the head fixation device and 1.5 years for the chronic chamber. There were no adverse events and daily care was easy. This is clear evidence that the present implanting strategy was successful and provokes less discomfort to the animals.
Keywords: CT; Chronic brain electrophysiology; HA; Hydroxyapatite; MRI; Macaque monkey; Osseous-integration; Skull implants; VPS; computed tomography; hydroxyapatite; magnetic resonance imaging; vacuum plasma spraying.
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