Chronic intracortical electrodes: Modulation of the blood-brain barrier and the functional implications
Falcone, Jessica D.
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Brain machine interfaces have the potential to connect patients living with paralysis to prosthetics and devices, dramatically improving quality of life. Intracortical electrodes provide the electrode-tissue interface and record action potentials from neurons. Over time, the strength of the recorded action potentials diminishes, making repeat trials and device control difficult. Local neurodegeneration has been identified at the electrode interface, and a negative correlation was found between recording performance and blood-brain barrier (BBB) breach. Here we administered a therapeutic inhibitor to modulate the BBB in an electrode implant model, while evaluating the functional electrophysiology. We also sought to better understand the molecular cues in the electrode implant model and correlated electrophysiology and mRNA chronically. The significance of this work is the increased understanding of the biological mechanisms at play in a functional, intracortical electrode implant model.