Review Article

Materials and technologies for soft implantable neuroprostheses

Published online:

Abstract

Implantable neuroprostheses are engineered systems designed to restore or substitute function for individuals with neurological deficits or disabilities. These systems involve at least one uni- or bidirectional interface between a living neural tissue and a synthetic structure, through which information in the form of electrons, ions or photons flows. Despite a few notable exceptions, the clinical dissemination of implantable neuroprostheses remains limited, because many implants display inconsistent long-term stability and performance, and are ultimately rejected by the body. Intensive research is currently being conducted to untangle the complex interplay of failure mechanisms. In this Review, we emphasize the importance of minimizing the physical and mechanical mismatch between neural tissues and implantable interfaces. We explore possible materials solutions to design and manufacture neurointegrated prostheses, and outline their immense therapeutic potential.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology, Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces, Center for Neuroprosthetics, School of Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

    • Stéphanie P. Lacour
  2. International Paraplegic Foundation Chair in Spinal Cord Repair, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

    • Grégoire Courtine
  3. Biotechnology Center, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

    • Jochen Guck

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stéphanie P. Lacour.