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Large Animal Studies to Reduce the Foreign Body Reaction in Brain-Computer Interfaces: A Systematic Review.

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Honey, Jonathan Roy  ORCID logo
Carnicer-Lombarte, Alejandro  ORCID logo
Barone, Damiano Giuseppe  ORCID logo


Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) are reliant on the interface between electrodes and neurons to function. The foreign body reaction (FBR) that occurs in response to electrodes in the brain alters this interface and may pollute detected signals, ultimately impeding BCI function. The size of the FBR is influenced by several key factors explored in this review; namely, (a) the size of the animal tested, (b) anatomical location of the BCI, (c) the electrode morphology and coating, (d) the mechanics of electrode insertion, and (e) pharmacological modification (e.g., drug eluting electrodes). Trialing methods to reduce FBR in vivo, particularly in large models, is important to enable further translation in humans, and we systematically reviewed the literature to this effect. The OVID, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS and Scholar databases were searched. Compiled results were analysed qualitatively. Out of 8388 yielded articles, 13 were included for analysis, with most excluded studies experimenting on murine models. Cats, rabbits, and a variety of breeds of minipig/marmoset were trialed. On average, over 30% reduction in inflammatory cells of FBR on post mortem histology was noted across intervention groups. Similar strategies to those used in rodent models, including tip modification and flexible and sinusoidal electrode configurations, all produced good effects in histology; however, a notable absence of trials examining the effect on BCI end-function was noted. Future studies should assess whether the reduction in FBR correlates to an improvement in the functional effect of the intended BCI.



animal, astrogliosis, brain–computer, in vivo, interface, Animals, Brain, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Cats, Electrodes, Implanted, Electroencephalography, Foreign-Body Reaction, Mice, Rabbits, Swine, Swine, Miniature

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Biosensors (Basel)

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