Rehabilitation of sensory and/or motor functions in patients with neurological diseases is more and more dealing with artificial electrical stimulation and recording from populations of neurons using biocompatible chronic implants. As more and more patients have benefited from these approaches, the interest in neural interfaces has grown significantly. However an important problem reported with all available microelectrodes to date is long-term viability and biocompatibility. Therefore it is essential to understand the signals that lead to neuroglial activation and create a targeted intervention to control the response, reduce the adverse nature of the reactions and maintain an ideal environment for the brain-electrode interface. We discuss some of the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie in this intersection of neuroscience research, bioengineering, neurology and biomaterials.
Keywords: neural prosthesis, neural interface, brain-machine interface, coating, glial scar
Citation: Marin C and Fernández E (2010) Biocompatibility of intracortical microelectrodes: current status and future prospects. Front. Neuroeng. 3:8. doi: 10.3389/fneng.2010.00008
Received: 29 November 2009;
Paper pending published: 26 February 2010;
Accepted: 05 May 2010; Published online: 28 May 2010
Edited by:Martin Stelzle, University of Tübingen, Germany
Reviewed by:David Martin, University of Michigan, USA
Copyright: © 2010 Marin and Fernández. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Eduardo Fernández, Institute of Bioengineering, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Avda. Universidad s/n, Elche 03202, Alicante, Spain. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org