The aim is to combine tissue engineering and implantable electrode technology to develop a new biologically-inspired approach to enable stimulation of denervated muscle tissue. The project will involve construction of artificial nerve tissue containing motor neurons and assembly of electrode arrays to form an interface with the engineered tissue. Function and stability will be investigated in vitro using electrophysiological and biochemical methods, leading to the development of novel biohybrid devices. These can be implanted to test the ability of motorneurons in the artificial nerve tissue to reinnervate muscle and convey action potentials in response to electrical stimulation.
M. Georgiou, S. Bunting, H. Davies, A. Loughlin, J. Golding & J.B. Phillips (2013) Engineered neural tissue for peripheral nerve repair. Biomaterials 34, 7335–7343
Phillips, James (2014). Building stable anisotropic tissues using cellular collagen gels. Organogenesis 10, 1-3
Green, RA, Guenther T, Vanhoestenberghe A et al, "Integrated electrode and high-density feedthrough system for chip-scale implantable devicesBiomaterials, 34, 6109-18, 2013