Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain

Tao Zhou, Guosong Hong, Tian Ming Fu, Xiao Yang, Thomas G. Schuhmann, Robert D. Viveros, Charles M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Implantation of electrical probes into the brain has been central to both neuroscience research and biomedical applications, although conventional probes induce gliosis in surrounding tissue. We recently reported ultraflexible open mesh electronics implanted into rodent brains by syringe injection that exhibit promising chronic tissue response and recording stability. Here we report time-dependent histology studies of the mesh electronics/braintissue interface obtained from sections perpendicular and parallel to probe long axis, as well as studies of conventional flexible thinfilm probes. Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of the perpendicular and parallel brain slices containing mesh electronics showed that the distribution of astrocytes, microglia, and neurons became uniform from 2-12 wk, whereas flexible thin-film probes yield a marked accumulation of astrocytes and microglia and decrease of neurons for the same period. Quantitative analyses of 4-and 12-wk data showed that the signals for neurons, axons, astrocytes, and microglia are nearly the same from the mesh electronics surface to the baseline far from the probes, in contrast to flexible polymer probes, which show decreases in neuron and increases in astrocyte and microglia signals. Notably, images of sagittal brain slices containing nearly the entire mesh electronics probe showed that the tissue interface was uniform and neurons and neurofilaments penetrated through the mesh by 3 mo postimplantation. The minimal immune response and seamless interface with brain tissue postimplantation achieved by ultraflexible open mesh electronics probes provide substantial advantages and could enable a wide range of opportunities for in vivo chronic recording and modulation of brain activity in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5894-5899
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 6 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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