De la Oliva N., Navarro X., del Valle J. Anatomical Record; 301 (10): 1722 – 1733. 2018. 10.1002/ar.23920. IF: 1.373
Intraneural electrodes must be in intimate contact with nerve fibers to have a proper function, but this interface is compromised due to the foreign body reaction (FBR). The FBR is characterized by a first inflammatory phase followed by a second anti-inflammatory and fibrotic phase, which results in the formation of a tissue capsule around the implant, causing physical separation between the active sites of the electrode and the nerve fibers. We have tested systemically several anti-inflammatory drugs such as dexamethasone (subcutaneous), ibuprofen and maraviroc (oral) to reduce macrophage activation, as well as clodronate liposomes (intraperitoneal) to reduce monocyte/macrophage infiltration, and sildenafil (oral) as an antifibrotic drug to reduce collagen deposition in an FBR model with longitudinal Parylene C intraneural implants in the rat sciatic nerve. Treatment with dexamethasone, ibuprofen, or clodronate significantly reduced the inflammatory reaction in the nerve in comparison to the saline group after 2 weeks of the implant, whereas sildenafil and maraviroc had no effect on infiltration of macrophages in the nerve. However, only dexamethasone was able to significantly reduce the matrix deposition around the implant. Similar positive results were obtained with dexamethasone in the case of polyimide-based intraneural implants, another polymer substrate for the electrode. These results indicate that inflammation triggers the FBR in peripheral nerves, and that anti-inflammatory treatment with dexamethasone may have beneficial effects on lengthening intraneural interface functionality. Anat Rec, 301:1722–1733, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.