|| Neural interfaces provide a communication platform for direct interaction with the nervous system. Communication with the central nervous system has enabled treatment of numerous conditions such as epilepsy and depression, control of prosthetic devices and the advancement of the field of neuroscience. However, devices designed to record extracellular neural activity generally fail within one year of implantation due to materials limitations. This failure has been widely attributed to gliosis, the chronic reactive biological response to the invasive foreign probe, which leads to death of neurons and encapsulation of the implant resulting in a loss in the signal-to-noise-ratio over time. A number of factors contribute to the timeframe and extent of the observed gliosis: size, stiffness, surface chemistry, insertion procedure and mechanical constraints provided by electrical contacts have been shown to have a direct effect on glial scarring.
This Symposium will bring together materials experts in flexible electronics, polymer chemistry, electrical engineering, biophysics and neuroscience to describe novel approaches for new materials and micro- to nano-scale manufacturing paradigms to build reliable central and peripheral nervous system interfaces.