Methods for long-term recording of peripheral nerve activity via intrafascicular electrodes have not been optimized. We compared the long-term functionality of custom-made 95%Pt/5%Ir intrafascicular electrodes containing a proximal spring-like structure to that of conventional straight electrodes. The modified electrode was implanted into the sciatic nerve fascicle of a random hind limb in 14 rabbits for 9 months. A conventional electrode was implanted in the opposite hind limb as a control. Orthodromic and antidromic nerve potentials were sampled and analyzed monthly. Latency, amplitude, and nerve conduction velocity of electrical signals were generally similar within the modified group and straight control group at different time intervals (P > 0.05). However, at the conclusion of the study period, the modified electrode group had a greater number of functioning electrodes (P < 0.05) and a greater total functioning electrode time (P = 0.006). Intrafascicular electrodes with a spring-like structure demonstrated superior potential for long-term electrophysiological monitoring over straight electrodes.
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