Department of Bioengineering,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
29. Longitudinal neural and vascular recovery following ultraflexible neural electrode implantation in aged mice
Fei He, Yingchu Sun, Yifu Jin, Rongkang Yin, Hanlin Zhu, Haad Rathore, Chong Xie and Lan Luan
Biomaterials, 291, 121905 (2022)
Flexible neural electrodes improve the recording longevity and quality of individual neurons by promoting tissue-electrode integration. However, the intracortical implantation of flexible electrodes inevitably induces tissue damage. Understanding the longitudinal neural and vascular recovery following the intracortical implantation is critical for the ever-growing applications of flexible electrodes in both healthy and disordered brains. Aged animals are of particular interest because they play a key role in modeling neurological disorders, but their tissue-electrode interface remains mostly unstudied. Here we integrate in-vivo two-photon imaging and electrophysiological recording to determine the time-dependent neural and vascular dynamics after the implantation of ultraflexible neural electrodes in aged mice. We find heightened angiogenesis and vascular remodeling in the first two weeks after implantation, which coincides with the rapid increase in local field potentials and unit activities detected by electrophysiological recordings. Vascular remodeling in shallow cortical layers preceded that in deeper layers, which often lasted longer than the recovery of neural signals. By six weeks post-implantation vascular abnormalities had subsided, resulting in normal vasculature and microcirculation. Putative cell classification based on firing pattern and waveform shows similar recovery time courses in fast-spiking interneurons and pyramidal neurons. These results elucidate how structural damages and remodeling near implants affecting recording efficacy, and support the application of ultraflexible electrodes in aged animals at minimal perturbations to endogenous neurophysiology.