An Intracortical Implantable Brain-Computer Interface for Telemetric Real-Time Recording and Manipulation of Neuronal Circuits for Closed-Loop Intervention

Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Feb 3:15:618626. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.618626. eCollection 2021.


Recording and manipulating neuronal ensemble activity is a key requirement in advanced neuromodulatory and behavior studies. Devices capable of both recording and manipulating neuronal activity brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) should ideally operate un-tethered and allow chronic longitudinal manipulations in the freely moving animal. In this study, we designed a new intracortical BCI feasible of telemetric recording and stimulating local gray and white matter of visual neural circuit after irradiation exposure. To increase the translational reliance, we put forward a Göttingen minipig model. The animal was stereotactically irradiated at the level of the visual cortex upon defining the target by a fused cerebral MRI and CT scan. A fully implantable neural telemetry system consisting of a 64 channel intracortical multielectrode array, a telemetry capsule, and an inductive rechargeable battery was then implanted into the visual cortex to record and manipulate local field potentials, and multi-unit activity. We achieved a 3-month stability of the functionality of the un-tethered BCI in terms of telemetric radio-communication, inductive battery charging, and device biocompatibility for 3 months. Finally, we could reliably record the local signature of sub- and suprathreshold neuronal activity in the visual cortex with high bandwidth without complications. The ability to wireless induction charging combined with the entirely implantable design, the rather high recording bandwidth, and the ability to record and stimulate simultaneously put forward a wireless BCI capable of long-term un-tethered real-time communication for causal preclinical circuit-based closed-loop interventions.

Keywords: EEG; Göttingen minipig; animal model; brain-machine (computer) interface; closed-loop; electrophysiology; neuromodulation; stereotactic radiosurgery.