Chronic sensory-motor activity in behaving animals using regenerative multi-electrode interfaces

V. H. Desai, S. Anand, M. Tran, A. Kanneganti, S. Vasudevan, J. L. Seifert, J. Cheng, E. W. Keefer, M. I. Romero-Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces have been proposed as viable alternatives for the natural control and feel of robotic prosthetic limbs. We have developed a Regenerative Multi-electrode Interface (REMI) that guides re-growing axons through an electrode array deployed in the lumen of a nerve guide. While acute studies have shown the use of the REMI in the rat sciatic nerve, the quality of chronic signal recording has not been reported. Here we show that implantation of this interface in the sciatic nerve is stable with high quality recordings up to 120 days and failures mainly attributable to abiotic factors related to pedestal detachment and wire breakage. We further tested the interfacing of REMI with fascicles of the sciatic nerve that primarily innervate muscles (tibial) and skin (sural). When implanted into the tibial nerve, bursting activity was observed synchronous to stepping. However, implantation of REMI into the sural nerve failed due to its small size. While fascicles smaller than 300 μm are a challenge for regenerative interfacing, we show that a modified REMI can be used in an insertion mode to record sensory signals from skin. In summary, the REMI represents an effective tool for recording firing patterns of specific axon types during voluntary movement, which may be used to improve the motor control and sensory feedback in closed loop control systems for robotic prosthesis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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