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J Neural Eng. 2006 Sep;3(3):189-95. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

Brain micromotion around implants in the rodent somatosensory cortex.

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Harrington Department of Bioengineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-9709, USA.


The magnitude of brain tissue micromotion relative to stationary brain implants and its impact on the viability and function of the surrounding brain tissue due to mechanical stresses is poorly understood. The central goal of this study is to characterize surface micromotion in the somatosensory cortex against stationary cylindrical implants. We used a differential variable reluctance transducer (DVRT) in adult rats (n = 6) to monitor micromotion normal to the somatosensory cortex surface. Experiments were performed both in the presence and in the absence of dura mater and displacement measurements were made at three different locations within craniotomies of two different sizes. In anesthetized rats, pulsatile surface micromotion was observed to be in the order of 10-30 microm due to pressure changes during respiration and 2-4 microm due to vascular pulsatility. Brain displacement values due to respiration were significantly lower in the presence of the dura compared to those without the dura. In addition, large inward displacements of brain tissue between 10-60 microm were observed in n = 3 animals immediately following the administration of anesthesia. Such significant micromotion can impact a wide variety of acute and chronic procedures involving any brain implants, precise neurosurgery or imaging and therefore has to be factored in the design of such procedures.

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