Printable microscale interfaces for long-term peripheral nerve mapping and precision control

Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 21;11(1):4191. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18032-4.


The nascent field of bioelectronic medicine seeks to decode and modulate peripheral nervous system signals to obtain therapeutic control of targeted end organs and effectors. Current approaches rely heavily on electrode-based devices, but size scalability, material and microfabrication challenges, limited surgical accessibility, and the biomechanically dynamic implantation environment are significant impediments to developing and deploying peripheral interfacing technologies. Here, we present a microscale implantable device - the nanoclip - for chronic interfacing with fine peripheral nerves in small animal models that begins to meet these constraints. We demonstrate the capability to make stable, high signal-to-noise ratio recordings of behaviorally-linked nerve activity over multi-week timescales. In addition, we show that multi-channel, current-steering-based stimulation within the confines of the small device can achieve multi-dimensional control of a small nerve. These results highlight the potential of new microscale design and fabrication techniques for realizing viable devices for long-term peripheral interfacing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Finches / physiology
  • Male
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Microtechnology
  • Models, Animal
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / surgery
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio