Visualizing Curvature of Steerable Brain Implants 1

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Max J. Cotler, Erin B. Rousseau, Michael J. Cima

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Better understanding and treating brain disease requires the use of complex tools to investigate its activity. Current devices are often bulky and damage the brain, but this damage and scarring can be minimized by implanting smaller devices, like a microcapillary. Polishing flexible microcapillaries to specific angles causes them to curve due to net forces upon implantation. This allow the implant to avoid important structures and reach a desired target like a brain tumor or seizure focus. Here we demonstrate the use of steerable glass microcapillaries to investigate and treat structures deep within the brain. This image is part of a series of tests that were done to rigorously characterize the curvature of bevel-tipped microcapillaries in different stiffness agarose gels and brain tissue.