Alejandro Carnicer Lombarte

Interests

Neural interfaces allow the establishment of connections between the nervous system and external electronics, and hold great potential in both the clinic and basic research. The peripheral nervous system is a particularly attractive site to position an interface. Nerves are easy to access surgically and action potentials carried by them correlate well with activity at their target. Current nerve interfaces are however unstable in long-term implantation scenarios due to the development of a foreign body reaction.

In order to avoid this foreign body reaction, we are testing low-stiffness materials as potential components for neural interface manufacture. Work in our lab has shown that in the rodent CNS this rejection process is reduced if implant stiffness is matched to that of the tissue. My current work aims to determine whether this also holds true for the peripheral nervous system, and to exploit this finding by developing a “soft” nerve prosthesis.

Endoneurial fibroblast-like cells cultured on stiff substrates expressing alpha smooth muscle actin (green).
Endoneurial fibroblast-like cells cultured on stiff substrates expressing alpha smooth muscle actin (green).
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Research Focus

Keywords

Neural interfaces

Foreign body reaction

Axon regeneration

Fibrosis

Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance

Peripheral nerve injury

Spinal cord injury

Equipment

Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Immunohistochemistry

Collaborators

No collaborators listed

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