Making brain implants smaller could prolong their lifespan

Michael Cima has a new paper on brain implants and gliosis, which is scarring produced by the implant. This kind of implant is used for deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, among other uses, but about half of them fail within six months due to gliosis.

The new study found that coating the implants with a hydrogel whose mechanical properties are similar to that of brain tissue helps to reduce the amount of scar tissue formed, which could increase the lifespan of these devices. The paper is appearing in Scientific Reports.

A magnified needle tip is shown above a drawing of the human brain.

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This article was featured on the MIT homepage on May 17, 2017

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