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Sci Adv. 2019 Jul 5;5(7):eaaw5296. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw5296. eCollection 2019 Jul.

Battery-free, fully implantable optofluidic cuff system for wireless optogenetic and pharmacological neuromodulation of peripheral nerves.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical, Biological, and Chemical Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
3
Washington University Pain Center and Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
4
Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave., Box 8054, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
5
Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, The University of Arizona, Bioscience Research Laboratories, 1230 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
6
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
7
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
8
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.
9
College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.
10
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA.
11
Simpson Querrey Institute, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
12
Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
13
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
14
Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
15
Department of Neurological Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
16
Departments of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Abstract

Studies of the peripheral nervous system rely on controlled manipulation of neuronal function with pharmacologic and/or optogenetic techniques. Traditional hardware for these purposes can cause notable damage to fragile nerve tissues, create irritation at the biotic/abiotic interface, and alter the natural behaviors of animals. Here, we present a wireless, battery-free device that integrates a microscale inorganic light-emitting diode and an ultralow-power microfluidic system with an electrochemical pumping mechanism in a soft platform that can be mounted onto target peripheral nerves for programmed delivery of light and/or pharmacological agents in freely moving animals. Biocompliant designs lead to minimal effects on overall nerve health and function, even with chronic use in vivo. The small size and light weight construction allow for deployment as fully implantable devices in mice. These features create opportunities for studies of the peripheral nervous system outside of the scope of those possible with existing technologies.

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