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Title: Electrical interfacing to regenerating peripheral nerve
Author: Fitzgerald, J. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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A mathematical model of the electrical behaviour of an axon in a microchannel was constructed and showed that microchannel confinement results in signal amplification. Next a series of silicon discs containing precisely etched arrays of microchannels covering a range of dimensions were implanted between the cut stumps of rat sciatic nerves and the success of axon regeneration through the channels evaluated. Single prototype channels were then used to test the electrical properties of microchannels in vitro. Strands of rat ventral motor root were placed into the channels and amplified APs were recorded from electrodes in the channel walls. The prediction of the mathematical model were validated, and techniques for reducing noise in the recorded signal were explored. Microchannels were also evaluated in vitro as stimulating devices, where the confinement for the extracellular space was shown to result in extremely small stimulus current requirements. Finally, in order to test regenerated axons in microchannels, implants containing arrays of microchannels cast in silicone were implanted into rat sciatic nerve. After allowing time for regeneration, ultrafine needle electrodes pushed through the sides of the arrays were used to record and stimulate. It was possible to record endogenous muscle spindle APs from the channels, and by delivering stimulus current into the channels single motor units in the tibialis anterior muscle could be activated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available