A novel microwire interface for small diameter peripheral nerves in a chronic, awake murine model

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Journal Title

J Neural Eng


© 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd. Objective. The vagus nerve has been implicated in a variety of immune responses, and the number of studies using mouse models to unravel key mechanisms has increased. However, as of yet, there is no electrode that can chronically record neural activity from the mouse vagus nerve due to its small diameter. Such recordings are critical to understand the role of these biomarkers for translational research. Approach. In this study, we developed a methodology for surgically implanting the wrappable microwires onto the vagus nerve of mice. Similar to a cuff electrode, we wrapped de-insulated ends of microwires around the vagus nerve and re-insulated them on the nerve with Kwik-Sil. The recording fidelity of the wrappable microwire on the vagus nerve was validated in an acute, anesthetized model by comparing performance to commercially-available electrodes. A chronic, awake mouse model was then developed to record spontaneous compound action potentials (CAPs). Main results. In an acute setting, the wrappable microwire successfully recorded spontaneous CAPs with similar signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) and peak-to-peak amplitude to commercially available electrodes. In chronic, awake recordings, viable SNRs were obtained from the wrappable microwires between 30 and 60 d (n = 8). Weekly impedance measurements showed no correlation with SNR or time, indicating device stability, and the electrodes recorded CAPs for the duration of the recording period. Significance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported chronic, awake neural interface with the mouse vagus nerve. This approach can facilitate clinical translation for bioelectronic medicine in preclinical disease models of interest with the creation of more clinically relevant preclinical models.

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Faculty; Northwell Researcher


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department

Molecular Medicine





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