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Titania nanotube arrays as potential interfaces for neurological prostheses




Sorkin, Jonathan Andrew, author
Popat, Ketul C., advisor
William, John D., committee member
Kipper, Matthew J., committee member

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Neural prostheses can make a dramatic improvement for those suffering from visual and auditory, cognitive, and motor control disabilities, allowing them regained functionality by the use of stimulating or recording electrical signaling. However, the longevity of these devices is limited due to the neural tissue response to the implanted device. In response to the implant penetrating the blood brain barrier and causing trauma to the tissue, the body forms a to scar to isolate the implant in order to protect the nearby tissue. The scar tissue is a result of reactive gliosis and produces an insulated sheath, encapsulating the implant. The glial sheath limits the stimulating or recording capabilities of the implant, reducing its effectiveness over the long term. A favorable interaction with this tissue would be the direct adhesion of neurons onto the contacts of the implant, and the prevention of glial encapsulation. With direct neuronal adhesion the effectiveness and longevity of the device would be significantly improved. Titania nanotube arrays, fabricated using electrochemical anodization, provide a conductive architecture capable of altering cellular response. This work focuses on the fabrication of different titania nanotube array architectures to determine how their structures and properties influence the response of neural tissue, modeled using the C17.2 murine neural stem cell subclone, and if glial encapsulation can be reduced while neuronal adhesion is promoted.


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deep brain stimulation
Glial encapsulation
nanotube arrays
neural prostheses
neurological implant
neuronal adhesion


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