Technology Reviews

Nanotechnology in Neurosurgery

[+] Author and Article Information
Kelly L. Collins, Daniel A. Orringer, Parag G. Patil

 University of Michigan Medical Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0338

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 1(3), 034001 (Aug 23, 2010) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002140 History: Received May 31, 2010; Revised June 28, 2010; Published August 23, 2010; Online August 23, 2010

Clinical neurology and neurosurgery are two fields that face some of the most challenging and exciting problems remaining in medicine. Brain tumors, paralysis after trauma or stroke, and neurodegerative diseases are some of the many disorders for which effective therapies remain elusive. Nanotechnology seems poised to offer promising new solutions to some of these difficult problems. The latest advances in materials engineered at the nanoscale for applications relevant to the clinical neurosciences, such as medical imaging, nanotherapies for neurologic disease, nerve tissue engineering, and nanotechnological contributions to neuroelectrodes and brain-machine interface technology are reviewed. The primary classes of materials discussed include superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, liposomes, carbon fullerenes, and carbon nanotubes. The potential of the field and the challenges that must be overcome for the current technology to become available clinically are highlighted.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Positively charged gold nanoparticles adsorb onto DNA, as demonstrated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging of immobilized Lambda DNA before (a) and after (b) nanoparticle treatment. Different levels of laser power in a line-scan mode (1–77 mJ/cm2, 2–27 mJ/cm2, 3–11 mJ/cm2, and 4–7 mJ/cm2) onto chromosomes without (c) and with (d) metal particles demonstrated a higher efficiency for particle-decorated chromosomes, as visible in the effects of line 4 clearly visible in (d) but not in (c). Adapted with permission from Ref. 44. Copyright 2007, American Chemical Society.

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Figure 2

Carbon nanotube pillar microelectrodes. (a) Schematic of the cross section (not to scale). (b) A 6×6 array of 30×30 μm2 electrodes. (c) A 50 μm diameter electrode. Adapted with permission from Ref. 125. Copyright 2006, American Chemical Society.

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Figure 3

VACNF arrays record spontaneous activity in hippocampal slices. (a) Light micrograph of a hippocampal slice on a VACNF array chip. (b) Schematic of the hippocampus anatomy depicts the electrode recording locations, which crossed the hilus region from the CA3 pyramidal layer to the DG granule cell layer. (c) Spontaneous activity demonstrating complex spikes recorded from one channel. The spontaneous complex spikes were diminished by 1 μM TTX, indicating the signals were of biological origin. (d) Firing rate decreased to zero after administration of 1 μM TTX. Adapted with permission from Ref. 127. Copyright 2007, American Chemical Society.



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