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Clinical Implications of Basic Neuroscience Research
April 2017

Electronic Dura Mater Meddling in the Central Nervous System

Author Affiliations
  • 1Service de Neurochirurgie, Département des Neurosciences Cliniques, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2Center for Neuroprosthetics, School of Engineering, Institutes of Microengineering and Bioengineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, School of Life Sciences, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(4):470-475. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.5767
Key Points

Question  What are the advantages and possible applications of the soft, multimodal neural interface electronic dura mater?

Findings  Soft neural interfaces limit chronic central nervous system inflammation and conform to the surface of the brain and spinal cord. In this preclinical review, the ability to stimulate and record from the same device was found to offer a range of clinical applications, especially when neuromodulation therapies need to be applied in poorly accessible regions or when the therapy can be titrated based on neural activity recordings.

Meaning  The soft neural interface electronic dura mater provides new therapeutic options to treat or alleviate neurologic disorders.


Importance  A growing number of neurologic treatments rely on neural implants capable of delivering electrical and chemical stimulation to targeted regions of the central nervous system for extended periods.

Objective  To assess the potential of a novel class of multimodal neural implants, termed electronic dura mater or e-dura, to fulfill this need.

Evidence Review  Results from preclinical applications of e-dura implants and clinical evidence.

Findings  The silicone-based implant e-dura embeds interconnects, electrodes, and chemotrodes that are entirely stretchable. These unique mechanical properties allow e-dura to conform to the circumvolutions of the brain and spinal cord without damaging neural tissues or triggering foreign body reactions.

Conclusions and Relevance  Although challenges lie ahead to reach clinical fruition, the unique mechanical properties and integrated modalities of e-dura provide future opportunities to treat or alleviate neurologic deficits.

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