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Functional regeneration of glossopharyngeal nerve through micromachined sieve electrode arrays

Bradley, Robert M.
Smoke, Richard H.
Akın, Tayfun
Najafi, Khalil
To assess the potential of micromachined silicon sieve electrodes for long term recordings from single afferent sensory fibers, we implanted them between the cut ends of rat glossopharyngeal nerves which innervate taste and somatosensory receptors on the posterior tongue. After the implants had been in place for an average of 101 days nerve regeneration was measured using histological and electrophysiological methods. Axons of the glossopharyngeal nerve regenerated through holes in the sieves and supported the functional regeneration of taste, thermal and mechanoreceptors.