Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
MULTILAYER AND BOUQUET FIBER-BASED NEURAL PROBES AND METHODS OF MAKING AND USES THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/067905
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Spatially expandable probes and scaffolds for spatially expandable probes are provided that allow for interfacing across distant regions of the brain. The scaffolds include a plurality of helical channels extending along a length of the scaffold. Each of the plurality of helical channels are configured to receive a flexible probe, slidable within the helical channel such that they can be extended from the first end in different directions to access the distant regions of the brain. The scaffolds can be used with various flexible probes. Multi-functional fiber probes are provided capable of being used within the scaffolds. The multi-functional fiber probes include one or more sites on an exterior surface of the elongated fiber along the length of the fiber probe to allow for the interfacing to occur along the length of the fiber probe. Methods of making and using the multi-functional fiber probes and scaffolds are also provided.

Inventors:
JIA XIAOTING (US)
JIANG SHAN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/054192
Publication Date:
April 08, 2021
Filing Date:
October 04, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
JIA XIAOTING (US)
JIANG SHAN (US)
International Classes:
A61N1/05
Foreign References:
US20040199235A12004-10-07
US20130165920A12013-06-27
US20130085361A12013-04-04
US6090105A2000-07-18
US20160228693A12016-08-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SEARS, John S. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
We claim:

1 . A spatially expandable probe for simultaneous interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof, the spatially expandable probe comprising:

(i) a scaffold comprising a first end insertable within the brain of the subject and a plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and

(ii) a plurality of flexible probes, each of the flexible probes in the plurality of flexible probes slidably engaged within a helical channel in the plurality of helical channels and having a probe end extendable from the first end of the scaffold; wherein sliding each of the flexible probes within the helical channel in a first direction with respect to the scaffold causes the probe end to extend from the first end of the scaffold; wherein sliding each of the flexible probes within the helical channel in a second direction opposite the first direction causes the probe end to withdraw closer to the first end of the scaffold; and wherein each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented such that, when the probe end of each of the flexible probes is extended from the first end of the scaffold, the probe ends extend in different directions to access the distant regions of the brain of the subject.

2. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 , wherein one or more of the flexible probes comprises a multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-41.

3. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein each of the flexible probes is independently slidable within the channel such that, for each of the probe ends, the distance of the probe end from the first end of the scaffold can be independently controlled.

4. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the fiber probes are jointly slidable within the channel such that sliding the plurality of fiber probes in the first direction causes an equidistant extension of the probe ends.

5. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented at a different angle with respect to the normal of the scaffold at the first end such that, when the probe ends are extended from the first end, the probe ends extend in different directions to create a three-dimensional spatially expanded probe for extending across the distant regions of the brain of the subject.

6. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the simultaneous interfacing comprising one or more of sensing, stimulating, modulating, or otherwise interacting with the brain tissue of the subject using one or more of electrical, optical, and chemical modalities.

7. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the scaffold comprises a thermoplastic polymer.

8. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 7, wherein the thermoplastic is selected from the group consisting of polycarbonate, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefin, polyamide, polyester, polyetherimide, cyclic olefin copolymer, polyvinylidene fluoride, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethersulfone, polyphenylsulfone, polysulfone, poly lactic-co-glycolic acid, polycaprolactone, polylactic acid, polystyrene, copolymers comprising any of the foregoing, and blends thereof.

9. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein one or more of the flexible probes comprise cylindrical, rectangular, square, strip, linear, irregular neural probes, neural probes made of metal or polymer electrodes embedded in a polymer, or a combination thereof.

10. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein one or more of the flexible probes comprise silica or glass fibers, polymer fibers, polymer clad fibers, metal or polymer wire electrodes, hollow core fibers, and a combination thereof.

11 . The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein one or more of the flexible probes has a bending stiffness of about 10 N/m to about 400 N/m or about 10 N/m to about 60 N/m when measured at a frequency between 0.01 Hz and 10 Hz using the Stiffness Measurement Test.

12. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein one or more of the flexible probes has a bending stiffness that is less than a bending stiffness of a 125 pm diameter stainless steel wire when measured under the same conditions.

13. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein one or more of the flexible probes has a diameter of about 2000 pm, 1500 pm, 1000 pm, 500 pm, about 250 pm, about 200 pm or less.

14. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the plurality of helical channels comprise a number of channels from about 2 to about 1000, about 2 to about 100, about 2 to about 40 or from about 4 to about 20 channels.

15. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein one or more of the channels in the plurality of helical channels has a pitch of about 0.1 mm to about 100 mm, about 0.1 mm to about 25 mm. about 5 mm to about 50 mm, or about 5 mm to about 25 mm.

16. The spatially expandable probe according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the scaffold comprises an outer surface comprising a biocompatible material.

17. A multifunctional fiber probe for interfacing with tissue in the brain of a subject in need thereof, the multifunctional fiber probe comprising:

(i) an elongated probe body having a probe end for insertion into the brain region of the subject and a proximal end opposite the probe end;

(ii) a plurality of interfacing elements extending within the elongated fiber body from the proximal end to the probe end, and

(iii) one or more sites on an exterior surface of the elongated fiber body operably coupled to an interfacing element in the plurality of interfacing elements to interface with the tissue, the one or more sites along the length of the fiber probe at a distance from the probe end to allow for the interfacing with the tissue to occur along the length of the fiber probe.

18. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 17, wherein one or more interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements comprise a microfluidic channel having openings on the exterior surface of the fiber probe at sites along the length of the fiber probe; and wherein the interfacing comprises one or both of delivering a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent to the tissue at or near the sites and sampling the tissue at or near the sites.

19. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 18, wherein each of the one or more openings has a largest cross-sectional diameter of about 1 pm to about 100 pm, or about 5 pm to about 50 pm, or about 10 pm to about 25 pm.

20. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 18, wherein each of the one or more openings has an area of about 1 pm2 to about 5000 pm2 or about 25 pm2 to about 2500 pm2.

21. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 17, wherein one or more interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements comprise an electrode having openings on the exterior surface of the fiber probe at sites along the length of the fiber probe; and wherein the interfacing comprises one or both of applying an electrical signal to the tissue at or near the sites and measuring an electrical signal from the tissue at or near the sites.

22. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 21 , wherein the electrode comprises a conductive material selected from the group consisting of metals, metal alloys, and polymer composites.

23. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 22, wherein the electrode comprises a metal or metal alloy selected from the group consisting of (Au), platinum (Pt), iridium, tungsten, titanium, titanium nitride, stainless steel, tantalum, BiSn alloy, BiSn alloy, ZnAI alloy, and InSn alloy,.

24. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 22, wherein the electrode comprises a polymer composite comprising a carbon selected from the group consisting of graphene, graphite, carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, amorphous carbon, and a combination thereof.

25. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 17, wherein one or more interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements comprise an optical waveguide having openings on the exterior surface of the fiber probe at sites along the length of the fiber probe; and wherein the interfacing comprises one or both of emitting an optical signal to stimulate the tissue at or near the sites and measuring an optical signal from the tissue at or near the sites.

26. The multifunctional fiber according to claim 25, wherein the optical waveguide comprises a core comprising a high-index material and a cladding comprising a lower-index material.

27. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 26, wherein the high-index material is selected from the group consisting of polycarbonates, polystyrenes, polyethylene terephthalates, nylons, polyvinyldene dichloride, copolymers thereof, and blends thereof.

28. The multifunctional fiber probe according to claim 26, wherein the lower-index material is selected from the group consisting of polyacrylate, poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(dimethyl- siloxane) , polyvinylidene fluoride, copolymers thereof, and blends thereof.

29. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least two, at least three, or at least four interfacing elements, and wherein interfacing the tissue comprises two or more of delivering a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent to the tissue; optical stimulation of the tissue, electrical stimulation of the tissue, and electrical sensing of the tissue at or near the sites.

30. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least two, at least three, or at least four interfacing elements, and wherein interfacing the tissue comprises one or more of delivering a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent to the tissue at two sites; optical stimulation of the tissue at two sites, electrical stimulation of the tissue at two sites, and electrical sensing of the tissue at or near two of the sites.

31 . The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the interfacing elements are sealed at the probe end of the elongated fiber such that the sites are only along the length of the fiber.

32. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the sites are separated by a distance of about 1 pm to about 10 cm, about 1 pm to about 1000 pm, or about 20 pm to about 500 pm along the length of the fiber probe.

33. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the sites are at a distance from the probe end that is at least about 1 pm, about 20 pm, about 50 pm, about 500 pm, about 1 mm, about 2 mm, about 4 mm, or more to allow for interfacing the tissue at multiple sites along the distance.

34. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least two electrode interfacing elements, at least four microfluidic channels, and at least one optical waveguide interfacing element.

35. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least one electrode and one microfluidic channel.

36. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least one electrode, one microfluidic channel, and one waveguide,

37. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least four electrodes.

38. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the plurality of interfacing elements comprises at least with four electrodes and one waveguide.

39. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein each of the interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements has a cross-sectional diameter of about 2.5 pm to about 50 pm or about 5 pm to about 25 pm.

40. The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the multifunctional fiber probe has a bending stiffness of about 10 N/m to about 400 N/m or about 10 N/m to about 60 N/m when measured at a frequency between 0.01 Hz and 10 Hz using the Stiffness Measurement Test.

41 . The multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-28, wherein the multifunctional fiber probe has a bending stiffness that is less than a bending stiffness of a 125 pm diameter stainless steel wire when measured under the same conditions.

42. A method of making a multifunctional fiber probe according to any one of claims 17-40, the method comprising drawing a preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the elongated fiber body having the plurality of interfacing elements extending along the length of the elongated fiber body; and applying energy at one or more sites along the length of the elongated fiber body to remove material at the surface, thereby exposing an interfacing element at the one or more sites.

43. The method according to claim 42, wherein the applying energy comprises one or more of applying a laser pulse, an ion beam, or an electron beam to remove the material at the surface.

44. The method according to claim 42, wherein the preform comprises one or more thermoplastic polymers and/or one or more conductive materials; wherein the one or more thermoplastic polymers have a glass transition temperature of about 100°C to about 250°C; and wherein the one or more conductive materials have a melting or glass transition temperature that is below a glass transition temperature of the one or more thermoplastic polymers.

45. The method according to claim 42, wherein the preform has a cross-sectional diameter that is about 20 time to about 500 time or about 50 times to about 300 times a cross-sectional diameter of the elongated fiber body.

46. The method according to claim 42, wherein the elevated temperature is about 100°C to about 400°C or about 100°C to about 285°C.

47. The method according to claim 42, wherein applying the laser pulse comprises applying a femtosecond laser pulse having an emission wavelength of about 700 nm to about 900 nm and an average power of about 0.25 mW to about 1 mW and a repetition frequency of 50 Hz to about 250 Hz.

48. The method according to claim 42, wherein the preform comprises an outer sacrificial polymer layer, and wherein the method further comprises etching the sacrificial polymer layer from the elongated fiber body prior to applying the laser pulse.

49. The method according to claim 42, wherein the preform comprises a multi-layer preform structure having multiple layers of polymer with hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements.

50. The method according to claim 42, wherein the preform comprises a cylindrical multi-layer preform structure having a cylindrical core and one or more shell layers surrounding the core, the one or more shell layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements.

51 . The method according to claim 50, wherein the core comprises a hollow core.

52. The method according to claim 50, wherein the core comprises an optical waveguide.

53. The method according to claim 50, wherein the core comprises an electrode.

54. The method according to claim 50, wherein the core also comprises a polymer material having hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form additional interfacing elements.

55. The method according to claim 42, wherein the preform comprises a rectangular preform structure having one or more polymer layers stacked to form the rectangular preform, each of the one or more polymer layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements.

56. A method of making a scaffold for a spatially expandable probe for simultaneous interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof, the method comprising rotationally drawing a scaffold preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the scaffold; wherein the scaffold preform comprises one or more hollow polymer channels that form the plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and wherein the rotationally drawing comprises rotating the scaffold relative to the scaffold preform during the drawing to produce the helical channels having a defined pitch.

57. The method according to claim 56, wherein the rotating is performed at a rotational speed of about 10 revolutions per minute to about 1000 revolutions per minute or about 30 revolutions per minute to about 300 revolutions per minute.

58. The method according to claim 56, wherein the scaffold preform comprises a thermoplastic polymer.

59. The method according to claim 58, wherein the thermoplastic is selected from the group consisting of polycarbonate, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefin, polyamide, polyester, polyetherimide, cyclic olefin copolymer, polyvinylidene fluoride, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethersulfone, polyphenylsulfone, polysulfone, poly lactic-co-glycolic acid, polycaprolactone, polylactic acid, polystyrene, copolymers comprising any of the foregoing, and blends thereof.

60. The method according to claim 57, wherein the plurality of helical channels comprise a number of channels from about 2 to about 1000, about 2 to about 100, about 2 to about 40 or from about 4 to about 20 channels.

61 . The method according to claim 57, wherein the defined pitch comprises a pitch of about 0.1 mm to about 100 mm, about 0.1 mm to about 25 mm. about 5 mm to about 50 mm, or about 5 mm to about 25 mm.

62. A method of interfacing tissue at distant sites in the brain of a subject in need thereof, the method comprising inserting a probe end of one or more multifunctional fiber probes according to any one of claims 17-41 in or near the brain of the subject; and interfacing with the tissue at one or more of the sites along the length of the fiber probe.

63. The method according to claim 62, wherein the interfacing comprises one or more of i. injecting a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent through a microfluidic channel and into the tissue at or near a site; ii. applying an electrical stimulation through an electrode to the tissue at or near a site; iii. detecting an electrical signal through an electrode in the tissue at or near a site; iv. applying an optical stimulation through an optical waveguide to the tissue at or near a site; and v. detecting an optical signal through an optical waveguide in the tissue at or near a site.

64. The method according to claim 62, wherein the inserting the one or more multifunctional fiber probes into the tissue comprises (i) inserting a spatially expandable multi-fiber probe according to any one of claims 1-16; and (ii) sliding the one or more multifunctional fiber probes in the first direction with respect to the scaffold fiber to cause the probe end to extend from the first end of the scaffold and into the tissue.

Description:
MULTILAYER AND BOUQUET FIBER-BASED NEURAL PROBES AND METHODS OF

MAKING AND USES THEREOF CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to and the benefit of co-pending U.S. provisional application entitled “FEMTOSECOND (FS) LASER MICROMACHINING ON MULTILAYER AND BOUQUET FIBER-BASED NEURAL PROBE” having serial no. 62/911 ,042 filed October 4, 2019.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure generally relates to medical device, and in particular to neural probes

BACKGROUND

[0003] Implantable neural interface devices at a single-unit resolution play an important role in understanding the functional networks in the brain and treating neurological diseases. Over the past decades, significant progress has been made in developing highly multiplexed, flexible, and biocompatible neural probes with a single unit resolution for chronic implantation. Examples include Viventi, J. et al. Flexible, foldable, actively multiplexed, high-density electrode array for mapping brain activity in vivo. Nat Neurosci 14, 1599-U1138(2011); Zhao, Z. T. et al. Nanoelectronic Coating Enabled Versatile Multifunctional Neural Probes. Nano Lett 17, 4588- 4595(2017); Kim, T. I. et al. Injectable, cellular-scale optoelectronics with applications for wireless optogenetics. Science 340, 211-216(2013); Seymour, J. P. & Kipke, D. R. Fabrication of polymer neural probes with sub-cellular features for reduced tissue encapsulation. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 1 , 4606-4609(2006); Xie, C. et al. Three-dimensional macroporous nanoelectronic networks as minimally invasive brain probes. Nat Mater 14, 1286-1292(2015); Sohal, H. S. et al. The sinusoidal probe: a new approach to improve electrode longevity. Front Neuroeng 7, 10(2014); Kozai, T. D. et al. Ultrasmall implantable composite microelectrodes with bioactive surfaces for chronic neural interfaces. Nat Mater 11 , 1065-1073(2012); and Potter, K. A., Buck, A. C., Self, W. K. & Capadona, J. R. Stab injury and device implantation within the brain results in inversely multiphasic neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses. J Neural Eng 9(2012).

[0004] Despite the recent achievement of high resolution and high channel count in some devices, these devices still do not provide a seamless interface that can map three-dimensional (3D) brain activity across distant regions in the deep brain while minimizing the tissue damage. For example, see Khodagholy, D. et al. NeuroGrid: recording action potentials from the surface of the brain. Nat Neurosci 18, 310-315(2015); Jun, J. J. et al. Fully integrated silicon probes for high-density recording of neural activity. Nature 551 , 232-236(2017); Angotzi, G. N. et al. A Synchronous Neural Recording Platform for Multiple High-Resolution CMOS Probes and Passive Electrode Arrays leee T Biomed Circ S 12, 532-542(2018); Rios, G., Lubenov, E. V., Chi, D., Roukes, M. L. & Siapas, A. G. Nanofabricated Neural Probes for Dense 3-D Recordings of Brain Activity. Nano Lett 16, 6857-6862(2016); Khodagholy, D., Gelinas, J. N. & Buzsaki, G. Learning- enhanced coupling between ripple oscillations in association cortices and hippocampus. Science 358, 369-372(2017); and Fu, T. M. et al. Stable long-term chronic brain mapping at the single neuron level. Nat Methods 13, 875-882(2016).

[0005] At present, indirect methods such as fMRI, MEG, and EEG are utilized to illustrate both the signal pathway across multiple brain regions and the underlying brain circuitry. These technologies, however, lack single-unit spatial resolution. Alternatively, optical imaging of genetically encoded calcium and voltage sensors are widely used, which are advantageous for mechanistic study in animals but are difficult to translate to humans in the short term. To bridge this technological gap, two-dimensional microECoG and NeuroGrid devices have been developed to enable high-resolution recording across the entire cortical region (Khodagholy, D. et al. NeuroGrid: recording action potentials from the surface of the brain. Nat Neurosci 18, 310- SI 5(2015); Khodagholy, D. et al. Highly conformable conducting polymer electrodes for in vivo recordings. Adv Mater 23, H268-272(2011); and Chang, E. F. Towards large-scale, human- based, mesoscopic neurotechnologies. Neuron 86, 68-78(2015)). Ultraflexible mesh electrodes have been injected into the deep brain to achieve a long-term stable recording with a minor foreign body response, but the recording site is limited to the vicinity of the injection point (Patel, S. R. & Lieber, C. M. Precision electronic medicine in the brain. Nat Biotechnol 37, 1007-1012(2019); Liu, J. et al. Syringe-injectable electronics. Nat Nanotechnol 10, 629-636(2015); and Zhou, T. et al. Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. P Natl Acad Sci USA 114, 5894-5899(2017)).

[0006] Several types of stereo-encephalography electrodes and multi-shank probes have been developed to probe subcortical tissues, however, the tissue damage arising from multiple implantation sites significantly limits their spatial coverage and their neuroscience applications (Bancaud, J. et al. Functional stereotaxic exploration (SEEG) of epilepsy. ElectroencephalogrClin Neurophysiol 28, 85-86 (1970); Shin, H. et al. Multifunctional multi-shank neural probe for investigating and modulating long-range neural circuits in vivo. Nat Commun 10, 85-86(2019); Wu, F. et al. Monolithically Integrated muLEDs on Silicon Neural Probes for High-Resolution Optogenetic Studies in Behaving Animals. Neuron 88, 1136-1148(2015); and Son, Y. et al. In vivo optical modulation of neural signals using monolithically integrated two-dimensional neural probe arrays. Sci Rep-Uk 5(2015)).

[0007] In addition to mapping the electrophysiological signals within the brain, multifunctional neural probes that are capable of modulating the local neural activity provide a powerful technique for studying the brain circuitry. Following the development of optogenetics, optical waveguides and micro-LEDs have been integrated into various electrical recording probes to achieve bidirectional neural interfacing, which has facilitated the study of brain function relative to behavior. Moreover, localized chemical delivery is another useful method not only for interrupting local brain activities, but also for in vivo cell-type identification. To that end, multifunctional fiber- based neural probes have recently been developed using a scalable thermal drawing process, which allows for simultaneous optical stimulation, electrical recording, and drug delivery in vivo (Canales, A. et al. Multifunctional fibers for simultaneous optical, electrical and chemical interrogation of neural circuits in vivo. Nat Biotechnol 33, 277-284(2015); and Park, S. et al. One- step optogenetics with multifunctional flexible polymer fibers. Nat Neurosci 20, 612-619(2017)). However, the interfacing sites in these fiber-based neural probes have been restricted to a single location (at the fiber tip) so far, making the broad application of these probes unfeasible. Integrating the optical, chemical, and electrical functionalities in a minimally invasive and 3D probe within the deep brain would provide a versatile and powerful platform for basic neuroscience and clinical applications.

[0008] There remains a need for improved neural probes capable of noninvasively accessing distant regions of the brain, preferably through a single injection site.

[0009] There further remains a need for improved multifunctional neural probes that are capable of simultaneously sensing and modulating the local neural activity.

[0010] There also remains a need for improved multifunctional neural probes that are capable of simultaneously sensing and modulating that is not limited to the tip of the neural probe.

SUMMARY

[0011] Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are provided that overcome one or more of the aforementioned deficiencies. Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are provided that can interface with neurons using electrical, optical, and chemical modalities simultaneously. Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are provided capable of 3D coverage of the deep brain tissue. In various aspects, spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are providing having multisite interfaces in each probe (i.e. depth-dependent probes). For example, these are created by exposing electrode recording sites, microfluidic channel openings, and waveguide windows at spaced locations along the fiber length using a femtosecond laser micromachining technique. In some aspects, to allow for the 3D probe array expansion after implantation, a scaffold with helix hollow channels is provided to direct neural probes into brain tissue at specified angles.

[0012] Scaffolds for spatially expandable probes are provided that enable interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof. The scaffolds allow for a single insertion site to provide access to the distance regions of the brain in the subject by controllably directing the probes in different directions at the insertable end of the scaffold. The scaffolds include a first end insertable within the brain of the subject and a plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold. Each of the helical channels is configured to receive a flexible probe, slidably engaged with the helical channel. Each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented such that, when the probe end of each of the flexible probes is extended from the first end of the scaffold, the probe ends extend in different directions to access the distant regions of the brain of the subject.

[0013] In some aspects, a spatially expandable probe is provided for simultaneous interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof, the spatially expandable probe comprising. The spatially expandable probe can include a scaffold provided herein along with any flexible probe having suitable bending stiffness and size to move slidably within the helical channel and extend from the end of the scaffold into the tissue. The spatially expandable probe can include a scaffold having a first end insertable within the brain of the subject and a plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and a plurality of flexible probes, each of the flexible probes in the plurality of flexible probes slidably engaged within a helical channel in the plurality of helical channels and having a probe end extendable from the first end of the scaffold. In some aspects, sliding each of the flexible probes within the helical channel in a first direction with respect to the scaffold causes the probe end to extend from the first end of the scaffold. In some aspects, sliding each of the flexible probes within the helical channel in a second direction opposite the first direction causes the probe end to withdraw closer to the first end of the scaffold. In some aspects, each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented such that, when the probe end of each of the flexible probes is extended from the first end of the scaffold, the probe ends extend in different directions to access the distant regions of the brain of the subject. [0014] In various aspects, multifunctional fiber probes are provided capable of interfacing with tissue at multiple depths are provided. The multifunctional fiber probes can be used with the scaffolds provided herein to create spatially expandable probes with interfacing at various distances and directions from the end of the scaffold. The multifunctional fiber probes can also be used without the scaffolds for interfacing at multiple depths.

[0015] A multifunctional fiber probe is provided for interfacing with tissue in the brain of a subject in need thereof, the multifunctional fiber probe having an elongated probe body having a probe end for insertion into the brain region of the subject and a proximal end opposite the probe end; a plurality of interfacing elements extending within the elongated fiber body from the proximal end to the probe end, andone or more sites on an exterior surface of the elongated fiber body operably coupled to an interfacing element in the plurality of interfacing elements to interface with the tissue, the one or more sites along the length of the fiber probe at a distance from the probe end to allow for the interfacing with the tissue to occur along the length of the fiber probe.

[0016] Methods are also provided for making a multifunctional fiber. The methods can include drawing a preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the elongated fiber body having the plurality of interfacing elements extending along the length of the elongated fiber body; and applying energy at one or more sites along the length of the elongated fiber body to remove material at the surface, thereby exposing an interfacing element at the one or more sites. The applying energy can include applying a laser pulse, an ion beam, or an electron beam to remove the material at the surface.

[0017] The methods can include using a variety of preforms capable of forming the elongated fiber body having the plurality of interfacing elements extending along the length of the elongated fiber body. The preform can include a multi-layer preform structure having multiple layers of polymer with hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. The preform can include a cylindrical multi layer preform structure having a cylindrical core and one or more shell layers surrounding the core, the one or more shell layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. The preform can include a rectangular preform structure having one or more polymer layers stacked to form the rectangular preform, each of the one or more polymer layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements.

[0018] Methods of making the scaffolds are also provided. The methods can include rotationally drawing a scaffold preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the scaffold; wherein the scaffold preform includes one or more hollow polymer channels that form the plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and wherein the rotationally drawing includes rotating the scaffold relative to the scaffold preform during the drawing to produce the helical channels having a defined pitch.

[0019] Methods are also provided for interfacing tissue at distant sites in the brain of a subject in need thereof using the scaffolds and multi-functional fibers described herein. The methods can include inserting a plurality of flexible probes into the tissue using a scaffold describe herein. The methods can include inserting a probe end of a multi-functional fiber probe into the tissue of the subject to allow for interfacing along the length of the fiber. The insertion can include insertion using a scaffold described herein.

[0020] Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of devices, systems, and methods described herein will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] Further aspects of the present disclosure will be readily appreciated upon review of the detailed description of its various embodiments, described below, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

[0022] FIG. 1A is a representative multifunctional fiber preform fabrication process of an exemplary depth-dependent multifunctional fiber probe. FIG. 1 B is a schematic of an exemplary thermal drawing process for making a depth-dependent multifunctional fiber probe. FIG. 1C is a set of cross-sectional images of fibers used in the examples and having an electrode (BiSn). FIG. 1D is a schematic of an exemplary femtosecond laser micromachining process on a depth- dependent multifunctional fiber probe. FIG. 1 E is an image showing four microfluidic windows were created on the four hollow channels of Fiber S1 and four different food colors were injected into the four channels respectively while the fiber was embedded in brain phantom. FIG. 1F is an image showing an optical image showing the eight optical excitation sites fabricated on the eight waveguides of Fiber S2. FIG. 1G is an optical microscope image of the exposed Fiber S2 immersed in a drop of fluorescein excited by a 473 nm laser and showing the excitation pattern. FIG. 1H shows SEM images of the exposed microfluidic windows and electrodes (scale bar: 50 pm). FIG. 11 is a graph of the bending stiffness measurements of Fiber F1-4. FIG. 1J is a graph of impedance measurements of the BiSn electrodes in Fiber F1-4. All error bars and shaded areas in the figure represent the standard deviation.

[0023] FIG. 2A is a schematic of an exemplary scaffolding fiber preform fabrication. FIG. 2B is a schematic of an exemplary fiber drawing process with customized rotational feeding stage for an spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes. FIG. 2C is a set of side-view optical images of the scaffolding fibers drawn at different rotational speeds. FIG. 2D is a plot showing the relatively linear relationship between the pitch and the rotational speed utilized in this study. FIG. 2E is an SEM image of the scaffolding fibers with 5 (left) and 7 (right) hollow channels. FIG. 2F is a schematics of the employment of the spatially expandable functional fiber probes depicting (left) scaffolding fiber is inserted into the brain and affixed by Metabond® and (right) functional fiber probes are further inserted into the brain tissue through the scaffolding fiber. FIG. 2G is a schematic demonstrating the mathematical model of the locations of the inserted fiber probes. FIG. 2H is an image of a pre-validation of the expansion of the inserted functional fiber probes before implant surgeries. FIG. 2I is an image of validation of the expandable fiber probes in the brain phantom. FIG. 2J is images of transverse DAPI-stained brain slices from the mouse with the spatially expandable fiber probes implanted for one week (n=10). All error bars in the figure represent the standard deviation.

[0024] FIG. 3A is an illustration of the spatially-expanded fiber probe investigation by spatially- expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5) targeting the hippocampus region in a mouse brain. FIG. 3B is a single cluster from the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially-expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5) segregated 5 weeks after implantation from electrode one. FIG. 3C is peak voltage and repolarization voltage in the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially- expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5) from FIG. 3B. FIG. 3D is a filtered endogenous activity 5 weeks after implantation from electrode two in the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially-expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5) containing two separable units. FIGS. 3E-3F are the action-potential shapes of the two units from FIG. 3D in the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially-expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5). FIG. 3G is a principal- component analysis (PCA) of the two units from FIG. 3D in the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially-expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5). FIG. 3H is a graph of the local field potentials recordings 8 weeks after implantation from electrode one from in the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially-expanded functional fiber probes (F1 , n=5). with the alternating anesthesia level (0.5-2% v/v isoflurane). FIGS. 3I-3K show different levels of LFP activity recorded under the varying concentration of isoflurane in the spontaneous activity investigation by spatially-expanded functional fiber probes (F 1 , n=5). FIG. 3I shows the initial stage (before the increase of isoflurane level). FIG. 3J shows burst/suppression stage (transition period). FIG. 3K shows suppression stage (deep anesthesia period).

[0025] FIG. 4A is an illustration of the depth-dependent multimodal fiber probe targeting cortex, hippocampus and thalamus regions in a transgenic Thy1-ChR2-YFP mouse brain and a photograph of the assembled device coupled to the 473 nm laserforthe simultaneous optogenetic stimulation, electrical recording, and drug delivery using depth-dependent and spatially-expanded multifunctional fiber-based probes. FIG. 4B is an unfiltered electrophysiological recording from depth-electrodes 1-4 during optogenetic stimulation (10 Hz, 5ms pulse width, 7.3 mW/mm 2 ) 5 months after implantation (n=5) from the device in FIG. 4A. FIG. 4C is an illustration of the spatially-expanded multimodal fiber probe targeting the thalamus region in a transgenic Thy1- ChR2-YFP mouse brain and a photograph of the assembled device coupled to the 473 nm laser for the simultaneous optogenetic stimulation, electrical recording, and drug delivery using depth- dependent and spatially-expanded multifunctional fiber-based probes. FIG. 4D is an unfiltered electrophysiological recording from electrodes 1-5 during optogenetic stimulation (10 Hz, 5ms pulse width, 7.3 mW/mm 2 ) 3 months after implantation (n=5) from the device in FIG. 4C. FIGS. 4E-4G show filtered (0.3 - 5 kHz) electrophysiological recording from a F2 multifunctional probe (FIG. 4E) before, (FIG. 4F) 30 s after and (FIG. 4G) 1180 s after CNQX administration through the multifunctional fiber during optogenetic stimulation (10 Hz, 5ms pulse width, 7.3 mW/mm 2 ) showing smultaneous optogenetic stimulation, electrical recording, and drug delivery using depth- dependent and spatially-expanded multifunctional fiber-based probes.. FIG. 4H shows peak-to- peak amplitude values of each detected optically evoked spiking activity show a decrease in amplitude induced by CNQX administration and a gradual recovery phase after the termination of CNQX delivery. FIG. 4I shows comparison of the mean peak-to-peak amplitude values measured before, during and, after CNQX injection (Repeated measure one-way ANOVA Tukey's multiple comparisons test, ** p<0.01 (Before vs. After, p=0.0044), * p<0.05 (After vs. Recovery, p=0.0134), n=3). FIG. 4J shows seizure-like afterdischarges were induced by repetitive optical stimulation (20 Hz, 5ms pulse width, 7.3 mW/mm 2 ) using spatially expandable fiber probes. FIG. 4K is a zoomed in details of the recording results highlighted in FIG. 4J. FIG. 4L is a power spectrum density plot of the representative trace shown in FIG.4J. All error bars in the figure represent the standard deviation.

[0026] FIG. 5A is an example of electrographic recording by a fiber probe implanted in the amygdala of a TMEV-infected mouse is shown. Various stages of mouse behavior before, during and after convulsive seizure are identified in rectangles (i-v) and the corresponding magnified traces are depicted in the lower figures: (i) baseline (non-ambulatory physiological stage), (ii) pre- ictal spiking (periodic electrographic discharges before or during seizure initiation), (iii) seizure (high frequency spikings during fully generalized tonic-clonic seizure), (iv) post-ictal spiking (periodic electrographic discharges immediately after seizure), and (v) post-ictal suppression (behavioral arrest following convulsive seizure). FIG. 5B is a diagram of coronal section of a mouse brain showing the location of depth-dependent fiber probes in cortex (CTX), CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus, and hypothalamus (HY) as indicated by marks along with the probe assembly (straight implant, n=3). FIGS. 5C-5D are representative traces of electrographic recordings from CTX, CA1 , CA3, and HY during a non-convulsive seizure and their corresponding frequency distribution (straight implant). FIG. 5E is a power spectrum density plot for non- convulsive seizures show that mean power of signal recorded from CTX was significantly higher compared to mean power from other brain regions for various frequency bands between 1-100 Hz (Two-way ANOVA, Tukey’s multiple comparisons test; CTX vs. CA1 - * p<0.05, ** p<0.01 , *** p<0.001 , **** p<0.0001 ; CTX vs. CA3 - †p<0.05, ††p<0.01 ; CTX vs. HY - #p<0.05, ##p<0.01 ; n=14 seizures). FIG. 5F is a diagram of the coronal section of a mouse brain shows the location of depth-dependent fiber probes in the cortex (CTX), CA1 , CA3, and amygdala (AMG) as indicated by red marks along with the probe assembly (angular implant, n=4). FIGS. 5G-5H are representative traces of electrographic recordings from CTX, CA1 , CA3, and AMG during a convulsive seizure and their corresponding frequency distribution (angular implant). FIG. 5I is a power spectrum density plot for convulsive seizures show significantly higher mean power of signal recorded from CA3, AMG and CTX compared to that in CA1 between 1-100 Hz (Two-way ANOVA, Tukey’s multiple comparisons test; CA1 vs. CA3 and CA1 vs. AMG - ††††p<0.0001 ; CA1 vs. CTX - ** p<0.01 , *** p<0.001 ; n=20 seizures). FIG. 5J is a diagram of a mouse brain showing the location of two bouquet fiber probes implanted in CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus and the other two in the thalamus (n=3). FIG. 5K is representative traces of electrographic recordings from the hippocampus and thalamus obtained by spatially expandable fiber probes indicate higher network activity in the CA3 region. FIGS. 5L-5M show immunohistochemical staining of nuclear neuronal protein (NeuN, in green) in brain slices shows the neuronal loss in the CA1 region of the TMEV-infected mouse with seizures (FIG. 5M) compared to the sham-injected control mice (FIG. 5L). The loss of neurons in the CA1 region may explain the lower power of electrographic activity detected by fiber probes in CA1 . All shaded areas in the figure represent the standard deviation.

[0027] FIG. 6A is a composite image. Neurons were labeled with NeuN (FIG. 6B), astrocytes with GFAP (FIG. 6C), and microglia with Iba1 (FIG. 6D). FIG. 6E shows the neuron density, calculated by counting NeuN labeled neurons from FIG. 6B, was not significantly different between the groups. FIG. 6F shows astrocyte and microglia from FIG. 6C. FIG. 6G shows reactivity, measured as the area of GFAP- or Iba1 -positive cells from FIG. 6D respectively, were not significantly different between groups. Significance was determined by student’s t-test. Error bars on bar graphs reflect the standard deviation. (Scale bar: 40 pm).

[0028] FIG. 7A is a cross-sectional image of the Fiber S1. FIG. 7B is a cross-sectional image of the Fiber S2. FIG. 7C is a detailed schematic illustration of the femtosecond laser micromachining platform. FIG. 7D is a microscope image of the exposed electrodes in a depth dependent fiber probe.

[0029] FIG. 8 shows a simulation of the scattered light intensity from a femtosecond-laser exposed waveguide.

[0030] FIG. 9 shows the impedance spectrum of this exposed electrode of Fiber F3 confirmed the successful exposure of the electrode after femtosecond laser micromachining.

[0031] FIG. 10 shows the characterization of optical properties on Fibers F2 and F4 including optical transmission spectrum was obtained at a wavelength range of 400 - 700 nm, showing broad transmission across the visible range (normalized to the maximum value). The transmission loss measured using cut back method is 0.99±0.03 dB/cm (F2, R 2 =0.99308, n=3) and 1.31 ±0.03 dB/cm (F4, R 2 =0.99274, n=3) at a wavelength of 473 nm. And the bending test at 90° angle and radii of curvature of 1.6-7.9 mm shows no significant bending loss under these deformation conditions.

[0032] FIG. 11 shows LFP recordings from spatially expandable fiber probes implanted in the hippocampus region of the wild type mouse brain with altered isoflurane levels during recording (0.5-2% v/v). Electrodes 1-4 showed similar results.

[0033] FIGS. 12A-12B show normalization of the recording results from depth-dependent probes and spatially expandable fiber probes. (FIG. 12A) Normalized optically stimulated results from depth-dependent probes indicate that the electrode four which was the closet to the optical stimulation site detected the highest signal in average. (FIG. 12B) Normalized optically stimulated results from spatially expandable fiber probes indicate that the electrode one which was the closet to the optical stimulation site detected the highest signal in average. All error bars in the figure represent the standard deviation.

[0034] FIG. 13 shows recordings from a perfused brain with optical stimulation of 10 Hz by the depth-dependent fiber probes. No optically evoked signals recorded from these four electrodes confirmed the fact that the recording results we collected in live animals were not artifacts.

[0035] FIG. 14 shows light efficiency measurement of a single exposed optical window. [0036] FIG. 15 shows simultaneous optical stimulation and electrical recording in Thy1 mouse using the depth-dependent fiber probes. The four electrodes are located at the cortex, CA1 , CA3, and thalamus regions, and light is delivered at the side of the fiber adjacent to the electrodes targeting cortex, CA1 , and thalamus regions, respectively. The blue dashed lines indicate the laser pulses.

[0037] FIG. 16 shows unfiltered, Spike-filtered, and LFP filtered recording results before, during and after CNQX administration in a transgenic Thy1-ChR2-YFP mouse brain. We can observe that the spike-filtered recording had no optically evoked signal immediately after CNQX injection while the raw data still presented the optically evoked signal in the whole time, which indicates that CNQX only affected neurons close to the microfluidic channel while the neighboring neurons that were not in contact with CNQX still responded to laser pulses.

[0038] FIG. 17 shows similar brain activity of the seizure-like after discharges detected by other three brain regions.

[0039] FIG. 18A is a diagram of coronal section of a mouse brain shows the location of depth- dependent fiber probes in cortex (CTX), CA1 and CA3 regions of hippocampus, and hypothalamus (HY) as indicated by red marks along with the probe assembly (straight implant). FIGS. 18B-18C are representative traces of electrographic recordings from CTX, CA1 , CA3, and HY during a non-convulsive seizure and their corresponding frequency distribution. FIG. 18D is a power spectrum density plot for convulsive seizures shows no difference in mean power of signal recorded from different regions.

[0040] FIGS. 19A-19D show single confocal optical sections were taken at electrode implantation site. FIG. 19A is a composite image of neurons labeled with NeuN (FIG. 19D), astrocytes with GFAP (FIG. 19C), and microglia with Iba1 (FIG. 19B). FIG. 19E shows neuron density from FIG. 19D, calculated by counting NeuN labeled neurons, was not significantly different between the groups. FIGS. 19F-19G shows astrocyte and microglia reactivity from FIGS. 19B-19C, measured as the volume of GFAP- or Iba1 -positive cells respectively, was not significantly different between groups. Significance was determined by student’s t-test. Error bars on bar graphs reflect the standard deviation. (Scale bar: 40 pm)

[0041] FIG. 20 shows location of depth-dependent fiber probe implanted angularly to the brain surface for electrophysiological recording. Mice brains collected at the end of electrographic recordings were sliced (50 pm thickness) and stained with DAPI to visualize cell nuclei. Serial coronal sections from 2.00 to 2.25 mm posterior to bregma are shown from left to right. Diagonal cut mark seen in each slice indicates location of the electrode implanted to target cortex, CA1 and CA3 regions of hippocampus, and amygdala. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0042] Understanding the cytoarchitecture and wiring of the brain requires improved systems and methods that overcome the aforementioned deficiencies to record and stimulate large groups of neurons with cellular specificity. Existing neural interface technologies such as microwires, silicon- based multielectrode arrays, and electrode arrays with flexible substrates have been shown to provide high-resolution electrophysiological recording with high signal-to-noise ratio. However, with single implantation, the physical properties of these devices limit their access to one, small brain region. To overcome this limitation, this disclosure provided a platform for three-dimensional coverage of brain tissue through multifunctional polymer fiber-based neural probes capable of interfacing simultaneously with neurons in multiple sites. To enable the expansion of the multifunctional fiber probes in the brain, a scaffold with helix hollow channels is utilized to direct the probes into brain tissue at specified angles. For multisite interfacing within a single branch, multiple electrode recording sites, microfluidic channel openings, and waveguide windows are exposed along the fiber length using a femtosecond laser micromachining technique. Chronic recordings from the spatially expandable fiber probes demonstrate the ability of these fiber probes to capture brain activities with a single-unit resolution for long observation times. Furthermore, using transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2, the examples demonstrate the application of exemplary fiber-based neural probes in simultaneous recording and optical/chemical modulation of brain activities across distant regions. Similarly, varying electrographic brain activities from different brain regions of interest were detected by multisite fiber-based neural probes in a mouse model of epilepsy, demonstrating the potential of using these probes for the investigation of brain disorders such as epilepsy. This disclosure enables three-dimensional manipulation and mapping of brain activities across distant regions in the deep brain with minimal tissue damage, which can bring new insights for deciphering complex brain functions and dynamics in the near future.

[0043] Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are provided that overcome one or more of the aforementioned deficiencies. Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are provided that can interface with neurons using electrical, optical, and chemical modalities simultaneously. Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are provided capable of 3D coverage of the deep brain tissue. In various aspects, spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes are providing having multisite interfaces in each probe (i.e. depth-dependent probes). For example, these are created by exposing electrode recording sites, microfluidic channel openings, and waveguide windows at spaced locations along the fiber length using a femtosecond laser micromachining technique. In some aspects, to allow for the 3D probe array expansion after implantation, a scaffold with helix hollow channels is provided to direct neural probes into brain tissue at specified angles. Chronic recordings validate that these fibers can provide long term neuronal readout with a single-unit resolution at multiple locations. Furthermore, examples demonstrate that these 3D multifunctional probes can be used to modulate neural activities in transgenic mice and record distinct brain activities from spaced electrodes. Finally, examples demonstrate the probes provided herein are able to detect varying electrographic activities among different brain regions during ictal and interictal periods enabling the detection of seizure foci in a mouse model of chronic epilepsy. The example data demonstrate that 3D multiplexed brain interfaces provided herein can allow for multimodal manipulation and analysis of brain circuitry activity between brain regions under the physiological and pathological state.

[0044] Before the present disclosure is described in greater detail, it is to be understood that this disclosure is not limited to particular embodiments described, and as such may, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting. The skilled artisan will recognize many variants and adaptations of the embodiments described herein. These variants and adaptations are intended to be included in the teachings of this disclosure.

[0045] All publications and patents cited in this specification are cited to disclose and describe the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited. All such publications and patents are herein incorporated by references as if each individual publication or patent were specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference. Such incorporation by reference is expressly limited to the methods and/or materials described in the cited publications and patents and does not extend to any lexicographical definitions from the cited publications and patents. Any lexicographical definition in the publications and patents cited that is not also expressly repeated in the instant specification should not be treated as such and should not be read as defining any terms appearing in the accompanying claims. The citation of any publication is for its disclosure prior to the filing date and should not be construed as an admission that the present disclosure is not entitled to antedate such publication by virtue of prior disclosure. Further, the dates of publication provided could be different from the actual publication dates that may need to be independently confirmed.

[0046] Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the present disclosure, the preferred methods and materials are now described. Functions or constructions well-known in the art may not be described in detail for brevity and/or clarity. Embodiments of the present disclosure will employ, unless otherwise indicated, techniques of computer science, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing and the like, which are within the skill of the art. Such techniques are explained fully in the literature.

[0047] It should be noted that ratios, concentrations, amounts, and other numerical data can be expressed herein in a range format. It is to be understood that such a range format is used for convenience and brevity, and thus, should be interpreted in a flexible manner to include not only the numerical values explicitly recited as the limits of the range, but also to include all the individual numerical values or sub-ranges encompassed within that range as if each numerical value and sub-range is explicitly recited. To illustrate, a numerical range of “about 0.1% to about 5%” should be interpreted to include not only the explicitly recited values of about 0.1% to about 5%, but also include individual values (e.g., 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4%) and the sub-ranges (e.g., 0.5%, 1.1%, 2.2%, 3.3%, and 4.4%) within the indicated range. Where the stated range includes one or both of the limits, ranges excluding either or both of those included limits are also included in the disclosure, e.g. the phrase “x to y” includes the range from ‘x’ to ‘y’ as well as the range greater than ‘x’ and less than ‘y’· The range can also be expressed as an upper limit, e.g. ‘about x, y, z, or less’ and should be interpreted to include the specific ranges of ‘about x’, ‘about y’, and ‘about z’ as well as the ranges of ‘less than x’, less than y’, and ‘less than z’. Likewise, the phrase ‘about x, y, z, or greater’ should be interpreted to include the specific ranges of ‘about x’, ‘about y’, and ‘about z’ as well as the ranges of ‘greater than x’, greater than y’, and ‘greater than z’. In some embodiments, the term “about” can include traditional rounding according to significant figures of the numerical value. In addition, the phrase “about ‘x’ to ‘y’”, where ‘x’ and ‘y’ are numerical values, includes “about ‘x’ to about ‘y’”.

[0048] In some instances, units may be used herein that are non-metric or non-SI units. Such units may be, for instance, in U.S. Customary Measures, e.g., as set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce, United States of America in publications such as NIST HB 44, NIST HB 133, NIST SP 811 , NIST SP 1038, NBS Miscellaneous Publication 214, and the like. The units in U.S. Customary Measures are understood to include equivalent dimensions in metric and other units (e.g., a dimension disclosed as “1 inch” is intended to mean an equivalent dimension of “2.5 cm”; a unit disclosed as “1 pcf is intended to mean an equivalent dimension of 0.157 kN/m 3 ; or a unit disclosed 100°F is intended to mean an equivalent dimension of 37.8°C; and the like) as understood by a person of ordinary skill in the art.

[0049] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure belongs. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of the specification and relevant art and should not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly defined herein.

[0050] The articles “a” and “an,” as used herein, mean one or more when applied to any feature in embodiments of the present invention described in the specification and claims. The use of “a” and “an” does not limit the meaning to a single feature unless such a limit is specifically stated. The article “the” preceding singular or plural nouns or noun phrases denotes a particular specified feature or particular specified features and may have a singular or plural connotation depending upon the context in which it is used.

[0051] Scaffolds for spatially expandable probes are provided that enable interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof. The scaffolds allow for a single insertion site to provide access to the distance regions of the brain in the subject by controllably directing the probes in different directions at the insertable end of the scaffold. The scaffolds include a first end insertable within the brain of the subject and a plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold. Each of the helical channels is configured to receive a flexible probe, slidably engaged with the helical channel. Each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented such that, when the probe end of each of the flexible probes is extended from the first end of the scaffold, the probe ends extend in different directions to access the distant regions of the brain of the subject.

[0052] In some aspects, a spatially expandable probe is provided for simultaneous interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof, the spatially expandable probe comprising. The spatially expandable probe can include a scaffold provided herein along with any flexible probe having suitable bending stiffness and size to move slidably within the helical channel and extend from the end of the scaffold into the tissue. The spatially expandable probe can include a scaffold having a first end insertable within the brain of the subject and a plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and a plurality of flexible probes, each of the flexible probes in the plurality of flexible probes slidably engaged within a helical channel in the plurality of helical channels and having a probe end extendable from the first end of the scaffold. In some aspects, sliding each of the flexible probes within the helical channel in a first direction with respect to the scaffold causes the probe end to extend from the first end of the scaffold. In some aspects, sliding each of the flexible probes within the helical channel in a second direction opposite the first direction causes the probe end to withdraw closer to the first end of the scaffold. In some aspects, each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented such that, when the probe end of each of the flexible probes is extended from the first end of the scaffold, the probe ends extend in different directions to access the distant regions of the brain of the subject. The spatially expandable probe can include a multifunctional fiber described herein.

[0053] Each of the flexible probes can be independently slidable within the channel such that, for each of the probe ends, the distance of the probe end from the first end of the scaffold can be independently controlled. This can allow the user to track and position each probe independently within the tissue of the subject. In some aspects, the fiber probes are jointly slidable within the channel such that sliding the plurality of fiber probes in the first direction causes an equidistant extension of the probe ends.

[0054] In some aspects, each of the helical channels in the plurality of helical channels is oriented at a different angle with respect to the normal of the scaffold at the first end such that, when the probe ends are extended from the first end, the probe ends extend in different directions to create a three-dimensional spatially expanded probe forextending across the distant regions of the brain of the subject.

[0055] Simultaneous interfacing can include one, two, three, or more of sensing, stimulating, modulating, or otherwise interacting with the brain tissue of the subject using one or more of electrical, optical, and chemical modalities. Simultaneous interfacing can include interfacing with a single mode at multiple sites, e.g. at multiple depths along a fiber probe and/or using multiple probes extending in various directions within the tissue of the subject from the end of the scaffold. [0056] The scaffolds can be made from a variety of materials. The scaffolds can be metal or metal alloys, especially those that are known to not elicit an immune response when inserted into the body. The scaffolds can also be polymer scaffolds, which can be produced using known methods such as 3D-printing or can be formed using the fiber drawing methods described herein. In some aspects, the scaffold includes a thermoplastic polymer. The thermoplastic polymer can include polycarbonate, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefin, polyamide, polyester, polyetherimide, cyclic olefin copolymer, polyvinylidene fluoride, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethersulfone, polyphenylsulfone, polysulfone, poly lactic-co-glycolic acid, polycaprolactone, polylactic acid, polystyrene, copolymers comprising any of the foregoing, or blends thereof. [0057] The probes can include fiber probes described herein. The probes can also include other known probes having the appropriate flexibility. The probes can include cylindrical, rectangular, square, strip, linear, irregular neural probes, neural probes made of metal or polymer electrodes embedded in a polymer, or a combination thereof. The flexible probes can include silica or glass fibers, polymer fibers, polymer clad fibers, metal or polymer wire electrodes, hollow core fibers, or a combination thereof.

[0058] The flexible probes can include probes having suitable flexibility. For example, the flexible probes can be those having a bending stiffness of about 10 N/m to about 400 N/m or about 10 N/m to about 60 N/m when measured at a frequency between 0.01 Hz and 10 Hz using the Stiffness Measurement Test described herein. The flexible probes can be those having a bending stiffness that is less than a bending stiffness of a 125 pm diameter stainless steel wire when measured under the same conditions.

[0059] The flexible probes should be dimensioned to slidably engage within the channels of the scaffold. The flexible probes can have a diameter of about 2000 pm, 1500 pm, 1000 pm, 500 pm, about 250 pm, about 200 pm or less. As used herein, the diameter or cross-sectional diameter of a probe that is not a cylindrical fiber (e.g. a square probe, ribbon probe, etc.) should be understood to mean the longest cross-sectional distance perpendicular to the probe length.

[0060] The scaffold can in principal include any number of helical channels and a variety of pitches. The helical channels can include a number of channels from about 2 to about 1000, about 2 to about 100, about 2 to about 40 or from about 4 to about 20 channels. The helical channels can have a pitch of about 0.1 mm to about 100 mm, about 0.1 mm to about 25 mm. about 5 mm to about 50 mm, or about 5 mm to about 25 mm. The helical channels can be configured to all have the same pitch or to have different pitches to create the desired orientation.

[0061] The scaffold can include or can be coated with a biocompatible material.

[0062] In various aspects, multifunctional fiber probes are provided capable of interfacing with tissue at multiple depths are provided. The multifunctional fiber probes can be used with the scaffolds provided herein to create spatially expandable probes with interfacing at various distances and directions from the end of the scaffold. The multifunctional fiber probes can also be used without the scaffolds for interfacing at multiple depths.

[0063] A multifunctional fiber probe is provided for interfacing with tissue in the brain of a subject in need thereof. The multifunctional fiber probe can include an elongated probe body having a probe end for insertion into the brain region of the subject and a proximal end opposite the probe end; a plurality of interfacing elements extending within the elongated fiber body from the proximal end to the probe end, and one or more sites on an exterior surface of the elongated fiber body operably coupled to an interfacing element in the plurality of interfacing elements to interface with the tissue, the one or more sites along the length of the fiber probe at a distance from the probe end to allow for the interfacing with the tissue to occur along the length of the fiber probe. [0064] In some aspects, one or more of the interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements include a microfluidic channel having openings on the exterior surface of the fiber probe at sites along the length of the fiber probe; and the interfacing includes one or both of delivering a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent to the tissue at or near the sites and sampling the tissue at or near the sites. The one or more openings can have a largest cross-sectional diameter of about 1 pm to about 100 pm, or about 5 pm to about 50 pm, or about 10 pm to about 25 pm. The one or more openings can have an area of about 1 pm 2 to about 5000 pm 2 or about 25 pm 2 to about 2500 pm 2 .

[0065] In some aspects, the one or more interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements includes an electrode having openings on the exterior surface of the fiber probe at sites along the length of the fiber probe; wherein the interfacing includes one or both of applying an electrical signal to the tissue at or near the sites and measuring an electrical signal from the tissue at or near the sites. The one or more openings can have a largest cross-sectional diameter of about 1 pm to about 100 pm, or about 5 pm to about 50 pm, or about 10 pm to about 25 pm. The one or more openings can have an area of about 1 pm 2 to about 5000 pm 2 or about 25 pm 2 to about 2500 pm 2 .

[0066] The electrode can include a conductive material selected from the group consisting of metals, metal alloys, and polymer composites. The electrode can include a metal or metal alloy selected from the group consisting of (Au), platinum (Pt), iridium, tungsten, titanium, titanium nitride, stainless steel, tantalum, BiSn alloy, BiSn alloy, ZnAI alloy, and InSn alloy,. The electrode can include a polymer composite comprising a carbon selected from the group consisting of graphene, graphite, carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, amorphous carbon, and a combination thereof.

[0067] In some aspects, the one or more interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements can include an optical waveguide having openings on the exterior surface of the fiber probe at sites along the length of the fiber probe; and wherein the interfacing includes one or both of emitting an optical signal to stimulate the tissue at or near the sites and measuring an optical signal from the tissue at or near the sites. The optical waveguide can include a core with a high- index material and a cladding with a lower-index material. As used herein, the term high-index can include materials having a refractive index of about 1.5 or higher. As used herein, the term lower-index can mean an index lower than the high-index material or a material having a refracrive index of less than about 1 .5. In some aspects, the high-index material is selected from the group consisting of polycarbonates, polystyrenes, polyethylene terephthalates, nylons, polyvinyldene dichloride, copolymers thereof, and blends thereof. In some aspects, the lower-index material is selected from the group consisting of polyacrylate, poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(dimethyl- siloxane) , polyvinylidene fluoride, copolymers thereof, and blends thereof.

[0068] The plurality of interfacing elements can include any number of interfacing elements, such as at least two, at least three, or at least four or more interfacing elements. The interfacing the tissue can then include two, three, four or more of delivering a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent to the tissue; optical stimulation of the tissue, electrical stimulation of the tissue, and electrical sensing of the tissue at or near the sites. The plurality of interfacing elements can include at least two, at least three, or at least four interfacing elements, and the interfacing the tissue can include one or more of delivering a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent to the tissue at two sites; optical stimulation of the tissue at two sites, electrical stimulation of the tissue at two sites, and electrical sensing of the tissue at or near two of the sites.

[0069] In some aspects, the probe end has some interfacing elements open at the probe end, e.g. the interfacing may occur both along the length and at the end of the fiber. In some aspects, the interfacing elements are sealed at the probe end of the elongated fiber such that the sites are only along the length of the fiber. The sites can be separated by a distance of about 1 pm to about 10 cm, about 1 pm to about 1000 pm, or about 20 pm to about 500 pm along the length of the fiber probe. The sites can be at a distance from the probe end that is at least about 1 pm, about 20 pm, about 50 pm, about 500 pm, about 1 mm, about 2 mm, about 4 mm, or more to allow for interfacing the tissue at multiple sites along the distance.

[0070] In some aspects, the plurality of interfacing elements includes at least two electrode interfacing elements, at least four microfluidic channels, and at least one optical waveguide interfacing element. In some aspects, the plurality of interfacing elements includes at least one electrode and one microfluidic channel. In some aspects, the plurality of interfacing elements includes at least one electrode, one microfluidic channel, and one waveguide. In some aspects, the plurality of interfacing elements includes at least four electrodes. In some aspects, the plurality of interfacing elements includes at least four electrodes and one waveguide.

[0071] In some aspects, the interfacing elements in the plurality of interfacing elements has a cross-sectional diameter of about 2.5 pm to about 50 pm or about 5 pm to about 25 pm. As used herein, the diameter or cross-sectional diameter of interfacing elements that are not cylindrical fiber (e.g. a square interfacing elements, ribbon interfacing elements, etc.) should be understood to mean the longest cross-sectional distance perpendicular to the longest length of the interfacing elements.

[0072] The multifunctional fiber probe can have a bending stiffness of about 10 N/m to about 400 N/m or about 10 N/m to about 60 N/m when measured at a frequency between 0.01 Hz and 10 Hz using the Stiffness Measurement Test. The multifunctional fiber probe can have a bending stiffness that is less than a bending stiffness of a 125 pm diameter stainless steel wire when measured under the same conditions.

[0073] A multifunctional fiber probe is provided for interfacing with tissue in the brain of a subject in need thereof, the multifunctional fiber probe having an elongated probe body having a probe end for insertion into the brain region of the subject and a proximal end opposite the probe end; a plurality of interfacing elements extending within the elongated fiber body from the proximal end to the probe end, andone or more sites on an exterior surface of the elongated fiber body operably coupled to an interfacing element in the plurality of interfacing elements to interface with the tissue, the one or more sites along the length of the fiber probe at a distance from the probe end to allow for the interfacing with the tissue to occur along the length of the fiber probe.

[0074] Methods are also provided for making a multifunctional fiber probe. The methods can include drawing a preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the elongated fiber body having the plurality of interfacing elements extending along the length of the elongated fiber body; and applying energy at one or more sites along the length of the elongated fiber body to remove material at the surface, thereby exposing an interfacing element at the one or more sites. The applying energy can include applying a laser pulse, an ion beam, or an electron beam to remove the material at the surface.

[0075] A method is provided for making a multifunctional fiber probe described herein, the method including drawing a preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the elongated fiber body having the plurality of interfacing elements extending along the length of the elongated fiber body; and applying energy at one or more sites along the length of the elongated fiber body to remove material at the surface, thereby exposing an interfacing element at the one or more sites. The elevated temperature can be about 100°C to about 400°C or about 100°C to about 285°C.

[0076] The step of applying energy can include one or more of applying a laser pulse, an ion beam, or an electron beam to remove the material at the surface. The applying a laser pulse can include the laser machining methods described herein. The method can include applying a femtosecond laser pulse having an emission wavelength of about 700 nm to about 900 nm and an average power of about 0.25 mW to about 1 mW and a repetition frequency of 50 Hz to about 250 Hz.

[0077] The preform can include one or more thermoplastic polymers and/or one or more conductive materials; wherein the one or more thermoplastic polymers have a glass transition temperature of about 100°C to about 250°C; and wherein the one or more conductive materials have a melting or glass transition temperature that is below a glass transition temperature of the one or more thermoplastic polymers.

[0078] The preform can have a cross-sectional diameter that is about 20 time to about 500 time or about 50 times to about 300 times a cross-sectional diameter of the elongated fiber body. [0079] The methods can include using a variety of preforms capable of forming the elongated fiber body having the plurality of interfacing elements extending along the length of the elongated fiber body. The preform can include a multi-layer preform structure having multiple layers of polymer with hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. The preform can include a cylindrical multi layer preform structure having a cylindrical core and one or more shell layers surrounding the core, the one or more shell layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. The preform can include a rectangular preform structure having one or more polymer layers stacked to form the rectangular preform, each of the one or more polymer layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements.

[0080] The preform can include an outer sacrificial polymer layer, and the method can further include etching the sacrificial polymer layer from the elongated fiber body prior to applying the laser pulse.

[0081] The preform can include a multi-layer preform structure having multiple layers of polymer with hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. The preform can include a cylindrical multi-layer preform structure having a cylindrical core and one or more shell layers surrounding the core, the one or more shell layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. The preform can include wherein the core comprises a hollow core. The preform can include wherein the core comprises an optical waveguide. The preform can include wherein the core comprises an electrode. The preform can include wherein the core also comprises a polymer material having hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form additional interfacing elements. The preform can include a rectangular preform structure having one or more polymer layers stacked to form the rectangular preform, each of the one or more polymer layers comprising hollow channels, electrode materials, and/or optical waveguide materials embedded therein to form the plurality of interfacing elements. [0082] Methods of making the scaffolds are also provided. The methods can include rotationally drawing a scaffold preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the scaffold; wherein the scaffold preform includes one or more hollow polymer channels that form the plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and wherein the rotationally drawing includes rotating the scaffold relative to the scaffold preform during the drawing to produce the helical channels having a defined pitch.

[0083] A method is provided for making a scaffold for a spatially expandable probe for simultaneous interfacing across distant regions of the brain of a subject in need thereof, the method comprising rotationally drawing a scaffold preform at an elevated temperature with respect to room temperature to form the scaffold; wherein the scaffold preform comprises one or more hollow polymer channels that form the plurality of helical channels extending from the first end along a length of the scaffold; and wherein the rotationally drawing comprises rotating the scaffold relative to the scaffold preform during the drawing to produce the helical channels having a defined pitch.

[0084] The rotating can be performed at a rotational speed of about 10 revolutions per minute to about 1000 revolutions per minute or about 30 revolutions per minute to about 300 revolutions per minute.

[0085] The scaffold preform can include any of the scaffold materials described herein. In some aspects, the scaffold material comprises a thermoplastic polymer. The thermoplastic can be selected from the group consisting of polycarbonate, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefin, polyamide, polyester, polyetherimide, cyclic olefin copolymer, polyvinylidene fluoride, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethersulfone, polyphenylsulfone, polysulfone, poly lactic-co-glycolic acid, polycaprolactone, polylactic acid, polystyrene, copolymers comprising any of the foregoing, and blends thereof.

[0086] The scaffold can include any number of channels, e.g. from about 2 to about 1000, about 2 to about 100, about 2 to about 40 or from about 4 to about 20 channels.

[0087] The defined pitch can be controlled by the heating, the drawing rate, and the rotation speed to control the pitch. In some aspects, the defined pitch includes a pitch of about 0.1 mm to about 100 mm, about 0.1 mm to about 25 mm. about 5 mm to about 50 mm, or about 5 mm to about 25 mm. [0088] Methods are also provided for interfacing tissue at distant sites in the brain of a subject in need thereof using the scaffolds and multi-functional fibers described herein. The methods can include inserting a plurality of flexible probes into the tissue using a scaffold describe herein. The methods can include inserting a probe end of a multi-functional fiber probe into the tissue of the subject to allow for interfacing along the length of the fiber. The insertion can include insertion using a scaffold described herein.

[0089] The methods can include inserting a probe end of one or more multifunctional fiber probes described herein in or near the brain of the subject; and interfacing with the tissue at one or more of the sites along the length of the fiber probe. The interfacing can include one, two, three, or more of injecting a therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic agent through a microfluidic channel and into the tissue at or near a site; applying an electrical stimulation through an electrode to the tissue at or near a site; detecting an electrical signal through an electrode in the tissue at or near a site; applying an optical stimulation through an optical waveguide to the tissue at or near a site; and detecting an optical signal through an optical waveguide in the tissue at or near a site.

[0090] The inserting step can include using a scaffold described herein. The methods can include inserting a spatially expandable probe including a scaffold described herein; and sliding the one or more multifunctional fiber probes in the first direction with respect to the scaffold fiber to cause the probe end to extend from the first end of the scaffold and into the tissue.

EXAMPLES

[0091] Now having described the embodiments of the present disclosure, in general, the following Examples describe some additional embodiments of the present disclosure. While embodiments of the present disclosure are described in connection with the following examples and the corresponding text and figures, there is no intent to limit embodiments of the present disclosure to this description. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents included within the spirit and scope of embodiments of the present disclosure.

Experimental Methods and Methods of Measurement

Multifunction fiber fabrication

[0092] Many fiber structures have been prepared in this study. They all start from the preform fabrication described in detail below. After the preform fabrication, the macroscopic preform was put into a customized furnace. With controlled temperature and stress, the preform was drawn into thin fibers. The temperature we used during fiber drawing are 140 °C (top), 285 °C (middle), and 110 °C (bottom). [0093] For fibers used as spatially expandable probes to detect seizure activity (F1), two rectangular grooves were machined on the PC rod, one of them was filled by a BiSn electrode while the other one remained hollow as a fluidic channel. Then the pre-structured rod was wrapped with a few layers of PVDF and an additional PC layer which subsequently formed a preform after the consolidation process.

[0094] For spatially expandable fiber probes with optical stimulation capability (F2), a thin layer of PVDF and a relatively thicker layer of PC were added to a PC rod. Two grooves were then machined on this thicker PC layer while one of them was filled by the BiSn electrode. Two layers of PVDF and PC were subsequently wrapped around the rod and put in the oven for the consolidation process.

[0095] For fibers with four electrodes to probe for the seizure activities in wild-type mice (F3), four rectangular grooves were machined on a PC rod and all of them were filled with BiSn electrodes. Then a few layers of PVDF and PC were wrapped around the structure and then consolidated. [0096] For fibers used in the Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice (F4), we first rolled five layers of PVDF film (Mcmaster) and polycarbonate films (laminated plastics) onto a PC rod (Mcmaster), which subsequently formed a solid rod after the consolidation process in vacuum at 200 °C. Next, we machined four rectangular grooves (2mm x 2mm) on the solid PC layer which were filled by the BiSn (Indium Corporate) electrodes. Then, a few layers of PVDF were rolled onto the electrode- filled rod to form the insulating layer, which was then followed by additional layers of PC for the stable thermal drawing process.

[0097] For fibers used in the demonstration of a multifunctional fiber with multisite drug delivery capability (Fiber S1), a thin layer of PVDF followed by layers of PC films were first rolled onto a PC rod. After the consolidation of the films, six grooves were machined on the outer PC layer and two of them were filled with the BiSn electrodes. Then additional PVDF and PC layers were added to the rod to form the complete preform structure.

[0098] For fibers with eight waveguides, four electrodes, and one hollow channel (Fiber S2) a two-step drawing process was used. We first drew a rectangular waveguide fiber consisting of a PC core and a PMMA cladding. Then twelve grooves were machined on a PC tube (fabricated by wrapping PC films onto a Teflon rod and consolidating then), and four of them were inserted with CPE (conductive polyethylene) electrodes while the other eight were filled with the waveguide fibers. After that, additional PVDF and PC layers were wrapped onto the PC rod and consolidated. [0099] For spatially expandable fiber probes fabrication, obtaining proper scaffolding fiber is achieved, for example, by putting four or seven PC tubes together with a thin layer of PC films as protection. Taking the advantages of the rotating motor on customized fiber drawing tower, the fiber formed a helix structure due to the rotational degree of the rotating motor. The rotating motor was controlled by a motor and the rotational speed varies corresponding to the voltage applied to the motor. The voltage used in this study include 0, 3.3 V, 4.1 V, 5.0 V, 5.7 V, 6.5 V, 7.2 V, and 8.0 V, resulting in rotational speed of 0, 60 r/min, 69 r/min, 93 r/min, 108 r/min, 129 r/min, 147 r/min, and 162 r/min, respectively.

Electrochemical Impedance Spectrum Method

[0100] First, fiber probes of two centimeters were prepared and the inner electrodes were electrically connected to the copper wire (connecting details in Neuro Probes Assembly). The impedance Spectrum results were acquired via a potentiostat (Interface 1010E, Gamry Instruments). During the measurements, two-electrode experiments were performed with fiber probes as a working electrode, Pt wire (Basi) as counter electrode and reference electrode and 1x phosphate-buffered saline (PBS, Thermo Fisher) as electrolyte by an AC voltage of 10mV (10 Hz - 100 kHz).

Stiffness Measurement Method

[0101] The stiffness test was carried out using a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA Q800, TA Instruments) installed with the single cantilever module. The tested fiber length is 10 mm, which equals to the distance between the fixed and movable clamps. The vibrating magnitude is 20 pm. We tested the stiffness of the fibers together with steel wire as the comparison group under different frequencies ranging from 0.01 Hz to 10 Hz. Three repeated measurements of each sample sets were taken at a temperature of 37°C.

Optical Characterization Method

[0102] To obtain the optical transmission spectra, we connected a halogen light source (DH1000, Ocean Optics) to the optical waveguide using the ferrule-to-ferrule coupling method. The transmitted light was collected at the other side of the fiber with a fiber-coupled spectrometer (Flame, 200-1 ,025nm, Ocean Optics). The transmission spectra are normalized by a light source spectrum. To quantify the transmission loss, the fiber probe ferrule end was coupled to a silica fiber patchcord by a mating sleeve (Thorlabs) which was air-coupled to a DPSS laser (Laserglow Technologies, 100 mW maximum power, wavelength l = 473 nm) and the light output was measured by a power meter (Thorlabs) with a photodetector (Thorlabs) attached. Measurements were taken of fiber length of 1 - 10 cm, radii of curvature 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/4, and 5/8 inch at a bending angle of 0° and 90°. Femtosecond laser micromachininq

[0103] The fiber was immersed in dichloromethane for two minutes to remove the sacrificial outer PC layer before the micromachining process. The femtosecond(fs) laser used in the fabrication is a Ti: Sapphire NIR-fs pulsed laser (Coherent Libra series) with 800 nm emission wavelength, ~100 fs pulse width, and 3mm- beam-waist linear polarized Gaussian beam. A Nikon dry objective (20x, NA=0.4) was used to focus the laser beam on the fiber. The size of the focal area, D, is estimated at about 1 .7 pm in diameter via D=2Af/-nw 0 , where l is the wavelength of the laser in the medium, f is the focal length of the lens, and w 0 is the input beam waist. The fiber was then mounted in an assembled motorized stage with a three-axis translation movement (ASI LX-4000 and Newport UTM50CC) and one-axis rotation around fiber axial direction (Thorlabs PRM1Z8). The fiber was fixed under tension to avoid wobbling during the fabrication. Since the laser beam only evaporates the material in the focal area, micro-channel can be formed at any selected location by scanning the focused laser beam layer-by-layer from the surface. The average power used in the fabrication was 0.5 mW with the laser repetition frequency of 100 Hz. The scanning speed was 0.4 mm/s and the overlapping between each trace was around 1 pm. A reflected light microscopic system using the same objective was also implemented to monitor the fabrication in real-time. To characterize exposed microfluidic windows, 1 pi each of four different diluted food color dye (red, green, blue and copper, Wilton) was injected to separate microfluidic channels in the fiber through tubing connected to a standard precision injection apparatus (100 nl/s, NanoFil Syringe and UMP-3 Syringe pump, World Precision Instruments) while the fiber probe was embedded in 0.6% agarose gel (see details of tubing connection in Multifunctional Neuro Probes Assembly).

Light Scattering Pattern Measurement Method

[0104] The fiber was immersed in a drop of fluorescein solution (1% Uranine, Carolina Biological Supply Company) and excited by a 473 nm laser via butt coupling. The image was taken by an optical microscopy and the excitation light was filtered.

Simulation of the exposed waveguide

[0105] The simulation was run by COMSOL Multiphysics ® 5.5 equipped with frequency-domain electromagnetic wave solver on a workstation. Due to our limited computing power, two- dimensional simulation was preformed and it is enough to provide a qualitative evaluation. The dimension and geometry were determined by the microscopic image of the fabricated fiber. The waveguide has 11 .5 pm thick PC core and 5 pm thick PMMA cladding. The exposed window is 20 pm x 20 pm wide and 7.5 pm depth with ~15° tapering. The side and bottom of the exposed window are roughened (R a =0.5 p and 1 pm for side and bottom respectively) to mimic the actual surface morphology of a femtosecond laser processed surface. The waveguide core is illuminated evenly with a 473 nm light and the corresponding refractive index of different layers are 1.6023 (PC), 1.4976 (PMMA) and 1.3361 (water).

Multifunctional Neuro Probes Assembly

[0106] For depth-dependent fiber probes used in Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice, the fiber probe was first put into the fiber optical ferrule and affixed by a retaining compound (LOCTITE) after micromachining process. Then the ferrule top part was polished by optical polishing papers from the roughness of 30um to 1 um. Next, for electrical connection with the electrodes embedded in the fiber probe, the electrodes were exposed manually at different locations along the fiber length by a razor blade and silver paint (SPI Supplies) was applied to the manually exposed site individually. Then copper wires were wrapped around the fiber probe and additional silver paint was applied for a better connection. The wires were soldered to the pin connectors (Sullins Connector Solutions) while a stainless steel wire was soldered as a ground wire. Besides, 5-min epoxy (Devcon) was applied to the electrical and optical interface for affixation and electrical insulation. In the last step, we applied medical epoxy on the fiber probe tip area to prevent double exposure of the electrode during the electrophysiology recording process.

[0107] For spatially expandable fiber-based neural probes assembly, the sacrificial layer of the fiber probe was removed by dichloromethane immersion. To build microfluidic interfaces, the hollow channel of the fiber probe was exposed manually and then the fiber probe was inserted into the ethylene vinyl acetate tubing (0.5mm inner diameter) with the help of a needle syringe, resulting in the perpendicular positions of fiber probe and tubing with fiber probe’s microfluidic exposure site placed in the tubing center. Then 5-min epoxy was applied around the connection site to prevent leakage during microfluidic infusion to the fiber probe through the tubing. The electrical and optical interface connection was established via the methods described above. After the soldering process, fiber probes were inserted to the 5-channel scaffolding fiber manually and followed by the affixation process of the whole device with 5-min epoxy.

[0108] After the devices are fabricated, we will test their electrical, optical, and chemical functions before implant surgery to ensure all of the implanted devices are functional in the acute and long term experiments. Surgical Procedure

[0109] All animal procedures were approved by Virginia Tech Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and Institutional Biosafety Committee and were carried out in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guide forthe Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Five to nine weeks old male wild type C57BL/6J mice (Jackson Laboratory) were received from the Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME) and allowed to acclimate for at least 3 days before enrolling them in experiments. Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice were bred in our lab (Jackson Laboratory). Mice had access to food and water ad libitum and were kept in a facility maintained for 12 hours light/dark cycle starting at 7 AM. Male C57BL/6J mice were set up on a stereotaxic apparatus (David Kopf Instruments) and 1-3.5% isoflurane was induced to animals via nose cone during all procedures for anesthesia. To expose the scalp, a small incision was made on the skin along the midline then a small craniotomy was made with a dental drill. Then the assembled fiber probe was lowered using a micropositioner with respect to the Mouse Brain Atlas while the ground stainless steel wire was soldered to a miniaturized screw (J. I. Morris) on the skull. Finally, the whole exposed skull area was fully covered by a layer of Metabond (C&B METABOND; Parkell) and dental cement.

[0110] For surgeries with spatially expandable fiber probes used in spike and burst suppression recording, we first positioned the scaffolding fiber to the coordinates relative to bregma of -1.8 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -1 mm DV and affixed the scaffold using Metabond. Then the functional fiber probes were further inserted for 1 mm and the final coordinates of the five individual probes are (-1 .8 mm AP, 1 .3 mm AL, -2 mm DV), (-2 mm AP, 1.5 mm ML, -2 mm DV), (-1 .8 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -2 mm DV), (-1.8 mm AP, 1.7 mm ML, -2 mm DV), and (-1 .6 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -2 mm DV). [0111] For surgeries with depth-dependent fiber probes in Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice, the coordinates relative to bregma used were -2 mm anteroposterior (AP); 1 mm mediolateral (ML); -3.3 mm dorsoventral (DV, four electrodes at -1 mm, -1.5 mm, -2.5 mm and -3.2 mm, respectively). For surgeries with drug intervention on Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice, the coordinates relative to bregma used were -2 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -3.2 mm DV.

[0112] For depth-dependent fiber probes used in seizure study with the straight implant, the coordinates relative to bregma used were -2 mm AP, 2 mm ML, -4.5mm DV with four electrodes at -1 mm, -1.5 mm, -2.5 mm and -4.4 mm, respectively. For depth-dependent fiber probes used in seizure study at a 30° angled implant, the coordinates relative to bregma used were -2 mm AP, 1.5 mm ML (at the brain surface) and the distance of each exposed electrode from the brain surface was 0.5 mm (CTX), 1 .3 mm (CA1 ), 2.2 mm (CA3) and 4.8 mm (AMG). The location of the electrode in the brain was verified in the coronal brain slices (50 pm thickness) after completion of the recording. The brain slices were stained for cell nuclei using DAPI to visualize clearly the damage caused by electrode implants (FIG. 20).

[0113] For surgeries with spatially expandable fiber probes used in Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice, we first lowered the scaffold to the coordinates of -1.5 mm AP, 0.5 mm ML and -2.5 mm DV relative to bregma. Then the scaffold was affixed to the scalp via Metabond while the fiber branches were further inserted into the brain for 1.5 mm after the Metabond was completely dry. Dental cement was used to affix the whole device above the skull. And the coordinates of the five electrodes are (-1 .53 mm AP, 0.25 mm ML, -4 mm DV), (-1 .75 mm AP, 0.53 mm ML, -4 mm DV), (-1 .5 mm AP, 0.5 mm ML and -4 mm DV), (-1.47 mm AP, 0.75 mm ML, -4 mm DV), and (-1.25 mm AP, 0.47 mm ML, -4 mm DV).

[0114] For surgeries with spatially expandable fiber probes used in Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice to induce the seizure-like aftercharges, the coordinates of the scaffolding fiber is -2 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -0.6 mm DV and the functional fiber probes were further inserted for 0.5 mm (-2 mm AP, 1 .4 mm ML, -1.1 DV) to target cortex region, 1 mm (-2.15 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -1.6 DV) to target CA1 region rostrally, 1 mm (-1.85 mm AP, 1.5 mm ML, -1.6 mm DV) to target CA1 region caudally, and 1.5 mm (-2 mm AP, 1 .75 mm ML, -2.1 mm DV) to target CA3 region.

[0115] For surgeries with spatially expandable fiber probes used in seizure study, the coordinates for the scaffold relative to bregma used here are -2 mm AP, 1.5 mm ML, -1 mm DV. The lengths of inserted functional fibers beyond the bottom of the scaffolding fiber were 0.5 mm (CA1), 1 mm (CA3), 2 mm (thalamus) and 2 mm (thalamus). And the coordinates of the four electrodes are (- 2.1 mm AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -1 .5 mm DV), (-2 mm AP, 1 .7 mm ML, -2 mm DV), (-1 .6 AP, 1 .5 mm ML, -3 mm DV), and (-2 mm AP, 1.1 mm ML, -3 mm DV).

Viral Infection

[0116] Mice were infected with Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) as previously reported (Patel, D. C. et al. Hippocampal TNFalpha Signaling Contributes to Seizure Generation in an Infection-Induced Mouse Model of Limbic Epilepsy. eNeuro 4(2017)). Mice were anesthetized using 3% isoflurane and kept under anesthesia using 2-3% isoflurane during the entire infection procedure. The injection area in the right hemisphere was disinfected with 70% ethanol and the injection site is pinpointed slightly medial to the equidistant point on the imaginary line connecting the eye and the ear. A William’s collar syringe which contains a plastic jacket on the needle to expose only 2 mm of the needle was used for injection to restrict the injection within the somatosensory cortex. About 20-25 pi of Daniels strain of TMEV solution containing 300,000- 375,000 plaque forming units (PFU) of the virus was injected intracortically by inserting the needle at a 90° angle to the skull. The needle was kept in place for at least 1 minute before retracting slowly to prevent leakage.

In Vivo Electrophvsioloqy

[0117] For studies involving single-unit LFP investigation in wild type mice and for the measurement of optically-induced electrical activities in Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice, a 32 Channel Neurophysiology System (Tucker-Davis Technologies, TDT) was connected to the headpins of the implanted device after animals recovered from surgeries. For optical stimulation, the fiber probe was connected to the DSPP laser as mentioned above. During optical stimulation, a laser pulse with 5 ms pulse was used and the frequencies used were 10, 20, and 100 Hz. Stimulation was delivered in 0.6 s stimulation epochs every 5 seconds. For the drug intervention experiments, the concentration of 0.1 mM CNQX (Tocris) solutions in PBS was prepared and 2.5 pi of which was injected into the brain through fiber probe’s hollow channel using NanoFil Syringe and UMP- 3 Syringe pump system at the speed of 80 nl/s.

Video-electroencephalography (vEEGI

[0118] After 4-7 days of recovery from the surgical procedure, mice were infected with TMEV as described above and enrolled for continuous vEEG recordings between 2 and 8 days post-TMEV infection. The MP160 data acquisition system and AcqKnowledge 5.0 software from BIOPAC Systems, Inc. were used to record electroencephalograms. The corresponding behavior of each mouse was recorded using Media Recorder 4.0 software (Noldus Information Technology) and M1065-L network camera (Axis communications). Mice were connected to EEG100C differential amplifiers (BIOPAC) using custom-adapted six-channel cable connectors (363-000 and 363- 441/6, Plasticsl) and six-channel rotating commutators (SL6C/SB, Plasticsl). All the cables and electrical components were sufficiently shielded to minimize electrical noise. Food and water were freely accessible to mice during the entire vEEG recording. Video and EEG recordings were automatically synchronized using the Observer XT 14.1 software from Noldus Information Technology. EEG signals were bandpass-filtered (high pass filter: 0.5 Hz, low pass filter: 100 Hz), amplified, and digitized at a sampling frequency of 500 Hz.

Data Analysis

[0119] Data analysis was performed with Matlab (The Mathworks) and custom scripts were used to sort neural spikes and analyze the local field potentials (LFPs). The activities were digitally filtered from 0.5-300 Hz and 300-5000 Hz to present single spike resolutions and LFP resolution. The spike sorting algorithm was implemented by filtering out individual spikes using standard deviation dependent threshold, reducing the dimensionality of the data via principal component analysis (PCA) and using unsupervised learning algorithms to separate out the clusters, such as K-means clustering. A custom Matlab script was also written to create spectrograms to visually support the analysis of the LFPs in both the time domain and the frequency domain. The EEG and video recordings were reviewed manually for the detection of seizures. Electrographic seizures were defined as fast rhythmic spikes or sharp-wave discharges with amplitudes at least two times higher than baseline and lasting for at least 5 s. EEG signals during the ictal period typically start with low amplitude spikes that gradually increase in amplitude during seizure progression and then gradually decrease in amplitude and frequency at the end of the seizure. Suppression of EEG baseline also commonly occurs following convulsive seizures corresponding to behavioral arrest in mice. By verifying these gradual rhythmic changes in EEG signals and the suppression of basal EEG activity, seizures were identified and artifacts were excluded from the analysis.

Immunohistochemistrv

[0120] Animals were implanted with a stainless-steel probe ora Fiber F1/F2 for 4 weeks and then anesthetized with a ketamine (20 mg/ml_)/xylazine (2 mg/ml_) solution and transcardially perfused with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (Fisher BP661-10) followed by 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA) (Electron Microscopy Sciences Cat. #15714-S) in PBS. Upon extraction, the brain was kept in 4% PFA overnight at 4 °C and then placed into PBS containing 0.02% sodium azide (Sigma S8032). The brain was serially sectioned into 50pm transverse slices on a Campden Instruments 5100mz vibratome. All slices were blocked for 1 hr at room temperature in blocking solution that contained 50% goat serum (Millipore S26-100ML) and 0.01% Triton X-100 (Sigma T9284) in PBS containing 0.02% sodium azide. Slices were then subsequently blocked in 8.3% Affinipure Fab Fragment goat anti-mouse IgG solution in 1X PBS. After blocking, slices were incubated with primary antibodies diluted in blocking solution without T riton X-100 overnight at room temperature. Primary antibodies used included chicken anti-GFAP (abeam Cat. #ab4674, 1 : 1000), mouse anti- NeuN (Millipore Cat. #MAB377, 1 :100), and rabbit anti-lba1 (Wako Cat. #019-19741 , 1 :500). Following primary incubation, slices were washed six times with PBS for 10 minutes at room temperature with agitation. Secondary antibodies diluted in blocking solution without T riton X-100 were added at room temperature for 1 hr. Secondary antibodies used included goat anti-chicken Alexa Fluor 488 (Jackson ImmunoResearch Cat. #103-545-155, 1 :500) goat anti-mouse Alexa Fluor 647 (Jackson ImmunoResearch Cat. #115-605-062, 1 :500) and goat anti-rabbit Cy3 (Jackson ImmunoResearch Cat. #111-165-144, 1 :500). Slices were then washed six times with PBS for 10 min at room temperature with agitation. Slices were mounted on glass slides with VECTASHIELD Antifade Mounting Medium with DAPI (Vector Laboratories Cat. #1-1-1200). Optical sections were acquired using a A1 R Nikon laser scanning microscope using a Plan Apo 20X/N.A.0.75 air objective. Quantification of the data was performed using NIS-Elements (Nikon Instruments Inc.). To compensate for variance in lesion size, the puncture wound area was measured, and circular inner and outer regions of interest (ROI) were generated to form an annulus with an area normalized to all slices (A = 7t(R 2 - r 2 )). Neuron density was then calculated within the normalized area by counting NeuN labeled cell bodies using spot detection (Nikon Elements). Area analysis of IBA1 and GFAP labeled cells was performed by creating binary layers of the optical sections using the threshold tool and quantified using the measurement tool (Nikon Elements). Projection images were created using ImageJ (NIH) software.

Statistics

[0121] Parametric statistical tests were used if the data were sufficiently normal distributed and variance within groups was sufficiently similar. Experimental designs with two comparison groups were analyzed by a two-tailed unpaired t-test and designs with more than two comparison groups were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The effects of CNQX on electrophysiological recordings were analyzed by repeated measure one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s multiple comparisons test. The power of electrographic recording obtained from different brain regions was compared by two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s multiple comparisons test. The difference between the two groups was considered statistically significant with a p-value of less than 0.05. Significance of tissue reaction to chronically implanted multimodal Fiber F2 and conventional stainless steel probes after four-week implantation was determined by the student’s t-test. All tests were performed using GraphPad Prism 8.0.

Depth-dependent multifunctional fibers

[0122] In these examples, a variety of fiber structures were fabricated using a thermal drawing process (TDP) as previously reported (Canales, A. et al. Multifunctional fibers for simultaneous optical, electrical and chemical interrogation of neural circuits in vivo. Nat Biotechnol 33, 277- 284(2015); Park, S. et al. One-step optogenetics with multifunctional flexible polymer fibers. Nat Neurosci 20, 612-619(2017); and Guo, Y. et al. Polymer Composite with Carbon Nanofibers Aligned during Thermal Drawing as a Microelectrode for Chronic Neural Interfaces. Acs Nano, 11 , 7, 6574-6585(2017)). A representative “preform” fabrication process to create a multifunctional fiber-based probe (Fiber S1) is shown in FIG. 1A. The waveguide in the center is made of of polycarbonate (PC, refractive index n PC = 1 .586) and polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF, refractive index n P v DF = 1 .426) as the core and the shell, respectively. Six grooves were machined next to the waveguide, two of which were inserted with BiSn metal alloy as the electrodes while the other four remained open as fluidic channels. To enable a stable drawing process, a sacrificial layer (PC) was added as the outer layer of this “preform”, which was etched away after fiber drawing. This macroscopic “preform” was then heated and drawn into a ~ 200-meter-long fiber with preserved cross-sectional structure and a 50-300-fold reduction in diameter (Fig. 1B). The cross-sectional image of the Fiber S1 is shown in FIG. 7A. Similarly, Fiber 1 (F1) with one electrode and one microfluidic channel, Fiber 2 (F2) with one electrode, one microfluidic channel, and one waveguide, Fiber 3 (F3) with four electrodes, and Fiber 4 (F4) with four electrodes and one waveguide were fabricated via TDP (Fig. 1C), which were used in the following animal experiments. Furthermore, we integrated eight waveguides, four electrodes, and one hollow channel within a single fiber (Fiber S2) using a two-step fiber drawing process, and the cross- sectional image of this Fiber S2 is shown in FIG. 7B.

[0123] To expose multiple optical, electrical, and microfluidic interfacing sites along the fiber length, we used a femtosecond laser micromachining technique. In this technique, a solid-state ultrafast laser based on titanium doped sapphire (Ti: Sapphire) was utilized, which is capable of generating laser pulses of < 10 fs at a wavelength of 800 nm. Our custom-built platform was also capable of rotating the fiber sample during micromachining, enabling 3D patterning along the fiber length (Fig. 1D, a more detailed illustration is shown in FIG. 7C). To validate the functionality of the exposed microfluidic and electrical interfacing sites, we created four 20 pm x 20 pm windows on the four microfluidic channels of Fiber S1 , respectively, with a 250 pm spacing. This fiber, whose tip was sealed using epoxy to prevent fluidic or electrical leakage at the tip end, was then inserted into a brain phantom (0.6% agarose gel) with four different food colors (1 pi each) injected into these four microfluidic channels, respectively. FIG. 1E shows the successful delivery of food colors to four different depths along the fiber.

[0124] Beyond exposing the microfluidic channels of Fiber S1 , we also created eight 20 pm x 20 pm optical excitation sites with a spacing of 150 pm on the eight waveguides of Fiber S2. We then coupled this micromachined Fiber S2 to a laser source with a wavelength of 473 nm as shown in FIG. 1F. The light in the optical waveguides is scattered out at the selected locations by ablating partially the cladding and core with the femtosecond micromachining process. Although the light scattering from the eight exposed windows has similar intensity, the directionality in 3D due to their different locations around the fiber circumference causes the windows facing backwards to appear dimmer in the image. In order to have a better understanding of the illumination volumes from these exposed optical excitation sites, we immersed the fiber in a drop of fluorescein solution which emits green light under blue excitation (1% Uranine, Carolina Biological Supply Company). The image shown in FIG. 1G was taken by an optical microscope and the excitation light was filtered out. Furthermore, we also simulated the light scattering using COMSOL Multiphysics ® 5.5 equipped with frequency-domain electromagnetic wave solver to validate the fluorescein image (FIG. 8). The dimension and geometry in the simulation were determined by the actual structure of the fabricated fiber which consists of a waveguide with an 11 .5 pm-thick PC core and a 5 gm- thick PMMA cladding. The exposed window is 20 pm x 20 pm in widths and 7.5 pm in depth with ~15° tapering. To mimic the actual surface morphology of a femtosecond laser processed surface, the side and bottom of the exposed window are roughened (R a =0.5 pm and 1 pm for the side and bottom, respectively). The waveguide core is illuminated evenly with a 473 nm light and the corresponding refractive index of different layers are 1.6023 (PC), 1.4976 (PMMA) and 1.3361 (water). From both the fluorescein image and the simulation result, we can observe light scattered from the exposed window with an angle of 50°. There is also some light scattering towards the center of the fiber. However, their intensities are reduced by multiple scatterings and reflections by the electrodes and the hollow channel, and therefore the light intensity emitted from the surface of exposed optical windows is dominant near that area.

[0125] Similarly, functional fiber (F3) with four electrodes exposed at a spacing of 50 pm and a size of 20 pm x 20 pm is shown in FIG. 7D. We further verify the exposed microfluidic window and the exposed electrode by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) as shown in FIG. 1H, respectively. The electrical performance of the exposed electrodes is validated using impedance measurements as shown in FIG. 9.

[0126] We also evaluated the mechanical, electrical, and optical properties of our flexible fiber- based probes. The fibers can be easily wrapped around a finger, exhibiting high flexibility. Indeed, most fiber-based probes (F1 , F2, and F3) present significantly reduced bending stiffness compared to conventional stainless steel wires (with a diameter of 125 pm) (FIG. 11). Even F4 (at a diameter of 250 pm) shares similar bending stiffness with the steel wire which is much thinner than F4. The impedance of the fiber probes at 1 kHz is found to be 1 3±0.5 MW for F1 , 1 2±0.3 MW for F2, 490±160 KW for F3, and 300±170 KW for F4, making the fibers good candidates for spike recording (FIG. 1 J). The optical transmission spectrum was obtained at a wavelength range of 400 - 700 nm, showing broad transmission across the visible range. The transmission loss measured using cut-back method is 0.99±0.03 dB/cm (F2, R 2 =0.99308, n=3) and 1.31 ±0.03 dB/cm (F4, R 2 =0.99274, n=3) at a wavelength of 473 nm (the excitation peak of channelrhodopsin 2 (ChR2)), indicating that the probes allow sufficient light transmission for optogenetic applications. The bending test at 90° angle and radii of curvature of 1.6-7.9 mm shows no significant bending loss under these deformation conditions (FIG. 10).

Spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes

[0127] Beyond micromachining to create depth-dependent multifunctional interfaces along a single fiber, helical scaffolding fibers were developed for producing spatially expandable fiber probes. To prepare the preform, four PC tubes (with an inner diameter of 9.53 mm and an outer diameter of 12.7 mm) were bundled together and then wrapped with a thin layer of PC (thickness = 300 pm). After consolidation at 200 °C for ten minutes, four round holes and one square hole were formed in this preform (FIG. 2A). Using a customized preform feeding stage that enables simultaneous translational and rotational motion of the preform, we were able to draw helical scaffolding fibers in a controllable manner (FIG. 2B). Seven different rotational speeds, 60 r/min, 69 r/min, 93 r/min, 108 r/min, 129 r/min, 147 r/min, and 162 r/min, were employed in this study and the optical images of the side views of the scaffolding fibers drawn at these different rotational speeds are shown in FIG 2C. We can observe that as the rotational speed increases, the pitch decreases. FIG. 2D demonstrates the relatively linear relationship between the pitch of the scaffolding fiber and the rotational speed, and the average pitch are 23.2 mm, 22.0 mm, 19.3 mm, 15.7 mm, 12.0 mm, 9.0 mm, and 6.7 mm corresponding to each rotational speed, respectively. The cross-sectional geometry of this scaffolding fiber was examined using SEM as shown in FIG. 2E. This unique fabrication method also allows us to scale up the numbers of channels in a single scaffolding fiber, such as seven channel-scaffolding fiber as shown in FIG. 2E.

[0128] After the scaffolding fiber is fabricated, an array of multifunctional fibers was inserted into the hollow channels of the scaffold. The scaffolding fiber is used to guide individual functional fibers as well as to alter the direction of the inserted fibers when exiting the scaffold. As illustrated in FIG. 2F, the employment of the spatially expandable fiber probes involves two steps during the implant surgery. First, we lower the scaffold to a predetermined depth of the brain and apply Metabond ® to fix the scaffolding fiber on the skull (FIG. 2F). Second, we further extrude the multifunctional fiber arrays through the scaffold by a calculated length until they reach their targeted locations (FIG. 2F) and fix the whole device onto the skull using a dental cement. The penetration depth of the fiber is controlled by the depth of the scaffolding fiber, the extrusion length of the inserted fiber, as well as the extrusion angle of the scaffold. The location of the inserted fiber can be further confirmed by the equation shown in FIG. 2G. For the fiber inserted into the center hole, it will stay straight when exiting the scaffold. The center point of the helix bottom is set to be the origin of the coordinates. The scaffolding fiber (FIG. 2E) comprises four helixes that intersect with the XY plane at (a, 0, 0), (0, a, 0), (-a, 0, 0), and (0, -a, 0), respectively. For the Helix A (acosO, asinO, Iiq/2tt), a is the radius, Q is the twisting angle of the scaffolding fiber, and h is the pitch of this circular helix. L is the length of the inserted fiber that is in direct contact with brain tissue. The point of the inserted fiber that intersects with the XY plane is defined as A 0 (a, 0, 0) and the endpoint of the inserted fiber is defined as A (Xi, Yi, Zi). As the inserted functional fiber that exits the scaffold will naturally form a tangent line to the Helix A, Xi equals a. Based on a given value of a, L, Q, and h, the coordinates of the endpoint of the inserted fiber A (Xi, Yi, Zi) can be calculated by two q-independent equations: Y 1 = Z 1 and Y 2 + Z 2 = L 2 . Similarly, the locations of the inserted fiber that comes from Helix B (-asinO, acosG, Iiq/2tt), Helix C (-acosG, - asinG, Iiq/2tt), and Helix D (asinG, -acosG, Iiq/2tt) that intersects with XY plane at B (0, a, 0), C (- a, 0, 0), and D (0, -a, 0) are (-¾ 2 , a. ¾, (-a, ~z 3 , Z 3 ), and (¾ 4 , -a, Z 4 ), respectively. Further calculation is needed for transferring the coordinates to the commonly used ones relative to bregma depending on how the scaffolding fiber is placed. As these coordinates suggest, we can observe a pattern that the diagonal lines of these four points are perpendicular to each other in the XY plane and the intersect point of these two diagonal lines would determine where the scaffolding fiber should be placed in the XY plane.

[0129] Before implanting the probes into animals, we will first insert all the functional fiber probes into the channels of the scaffolding fiber individually and move the scaffolding fiber up and down to confirm the expansion of the functional fibers as shown in FIG. 2H. To visualize the spatial expansion of fiber probes through the scaffolding fiber, we inserted the scaffolding fiber to a brain phantom (0.6% agarose gel), followed by the further insertion of the functional fiber probes as shown in FIG. 2I. To further confirm the location of the expanded fiber probes, we implanted the scaffolding fiber and functional fiber probes into the thalamus region of the mouse brain (n = 10) for one week and stained the transverse brain slices (50 pm thickness) for cell nuclei using DAPI. We can clearly observe the damage caused by the scaffolding fiber as well as the functional fiber probes from the implants as shown in FIG. 2J. We can also track the trace of the expanded fiber probes and observe that the distance between the inserted functional fiber probes increases from slice to slice. The square shape formed by the four damage points rotated evenly from brain slice to slice which fits the expectation of linear insertion of the functional fiber probes when exiting the scaffolding fiber. Based on the damage points from the stained brain slices, we found that the expanded fiber probes can reach the targeted region with an average success rate of 81 .3% per site (number of successful sites/number of total sites) and 60% per animal (number of successfully targeted animals/number of animals). [0130] As the previous results showed, the angle of the inserted functional fiber can be further tuned by adjusting the rotational speed during the thermal drawing of the scaffolding fiber, which indicates that the scaffolding fiber can guide the functional fiber into arbitrary locations in the deep brain. Furthermore, utilizing scaffolding fiber with more hollow channels and combining it with depth-dependent probes would allow us to sample dense brain regions in three dimensions.

Spike recording and burst-suppression recording using spatially expandable fiber probes

[0131] To evaluate the functionality of the spatially expandable fiber probes in recording localized brain activities with certain distances, we implanted fiber probes with 5 individual branches (Fiber F1) into the different parts of the hippocampus of wild type mice (n=5) as schematized in FIG. 3A. The recording was conducted in these mice under continuous anesthesia induced and maintained by isoflurane. Two out of the five implanted fiber probes detected spike activities 5 weeks post implantation (FIGS. 3B-3G). The electrophysiological signals recorded 5 weeks after implantation were bandpass-filtered to examine the local field potential (LFP, 0.3-300 Hz) and spiking activity (0.3-5 kHz). On one electrode, we found one distinct cluster of spikes via principal component analysis (PCA). This spike activity is most likely axonal, as indicated by the sharp voltage drop and short duration waveforms (FIG. 3B) and its peak and repolarization voltages are shown in FIG. 3C. The other electrodes captured spiking activity from multiple neurons, from which two spike clusters can be well isolated via PCA (FIGS. 3D-3G), where the quality of the isolation was assessed by L-ratios and isolation distance (0.0084 and 147.5, respectively). Thus, based on the recording obtained from these two spaced electrodes, we could detect very different activity patterns with our spatially expandable fiber probes providing useful insights for future investigation of brain functions.

[0132] We also altered the isoflurane levels during recording (0.5-2% v/v) and observed characteristic time and dosage-dependent changes in the LFP (FIG. 3H-3K) 8 weeks post implantation. FIG. 3I depicts the power spectrum of LFP obtained under a lower level of anesthesia (0.5% v/v isoflurane). After the concentration of isoflurane was adjusted to 2% v/v, we observed burst suppression (FIG. 3J), a hyperexcitable brain state induced by gas anesthetics where alternating high voltage activities (burst) and flatline (suppression) periods appear quasiperiodically (FIG. 3I). When the animal was in deep anesthesia, a general suppression of the LFP occurred (Fig. 3K). Both respiration rate and responsiveness to toe pinch decreased as the anesthetic level was increased. During deep anesthesia (i.e., suppression), there was a loss of toe pinch withdrawal. The LFP activity returned to the level as measured during the initial stage of recording once the concentration of isoflurane was decreased to 0.5% v/v. Four electrodes out of the five implanted fiber probes presented similar results during the administration of isoflurane

(FIG. 11)

Optogenetic control and electrophysiological readout with implanted fibers

[0133] In this study, we first exposed Fiber F4’s four electrodes via femtosecond micromachining with a spacing (distance between neighboring electrodes) of 0.5 mm, 1.1 mm, and 0.9 mm from top to bottom. The waveguide in the fiber probe was coupled to a silica optical fiber using a direct ferrule-to-ferrule coupling, which was connected to a laser source with a wavelength of 473 nm. The electrodes were connected to the headstage of the recording system via pin-connectors for electrical readout. These depth-dependent fiber probes were implanted into Thy1-ChR2-YFP mice, with four electrodes designed to target the cortex, the hippocampus, and two places in the thalamus, and the optical stimulation was delivered at the bottom of this fiber probe (n=3, FIG. 4A). Laser pulses at frequencies of 10 Hz, 20 Hz, and 100 Hz with a pulse width of 5 ms and a power density of 7.3 mW/mm 2 were applied and all the four electrodes detected optically evoked neural activities corresponding to 10 Hz laser pulses 5 months after implantation (FIG. 4B). After normalization of the peak-to-peak value of the optically excited signals, we observed that electrode four which was the closest to the stimulation site detected optically excited signals with the highest amplitude systematically (FIG. 12A). We also conducted the same stimulation and recording experiments in a perfused brain (FIG. 13) confirming the signals we detected were not artifacts.

[0134] We also performed optical stimulation at different brain regions along the depth-dependent fibers and recorded distinct brain activities from spaced electrodes. To our knowledge, both the size of the optical window and the light intensity will have effects on the optically evoked signal. Thus, we have exposed the optical windows with the same sizes on the side of the fiber probes at different depth to ensure the same excitation area and similar light intensity. In this specific experiment, we exposed the four electrodes of the Fiber F4 with a spacing of 0.5 mm, 0.8 mm, 1.2 mm from top to bottom to target the brain regions of cortex, CA1 , CA3, and thalamus. In the meantime, the optical window is exposed on the side of the fiber right next to the top (cortex, n=6), middle (CA1 , n=5) or bottom (thalamus, n=6) electrode to elucidate the neural activity from the same brain region with different optical excitation sites. The measured light efficiency from the laser source to the exposed window is 0.67% (FIG. 14), and the power density in our experiments is 9.1 mW/mm 2 . To block the light leakage from the bottom tip of the fiber, we applied sufficient black epoxy to cover the tip of the fiber probes. We found that the electrode closest to the optical excitation site detected the optically evoked signal with the highest amplitude (FIG. 15), consistent with our other optical stimulation and recording results (FIG. 4B). Furthermore, we employed spatially expandable fiber probes (five F2 probes with a scaffolding fiber) to the brain region of the thalamus and only fiber one was connected to the laser source while the others were simply connected for electrical readout (n=5, FIG. 4C). Similarly, laser pulses with a pulse width of 5 ms, a power density of 7.3 mW/mm 2 , and frequencies of 10 Hz, 20 Hz, and 100 Hz were delivered to the thalamus region right next to electrode one. All five fiber probes detected optically excited neural activities with 10 Hz laser pulses 3 months post implantation (FIG. 4D) and electrode one observed the highest peak-to-peak amplitude with normalization (FIG. 12B).

[0135] To assess the chemical delivery function in conjunction with the electrical recording and optical stimulation capabilities, the F2 probe’s hollow channel was connected to a miniaturized tubing and implanted to the thalamus region of Thy1 -ChR2-YFP mice. 2.5 pi of the synaptic blocker 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX, 0.1 mM, 80nl/s) was injected intracranially to the thalamus region through a microfluidic channel of the F2 probe (n=3). We bandpass-filtered the signals from 300 to 5000 Hz to study the activities of optically stimulated neurons. Before CNQX injection, optically evoked neural activities (10 Hz, 5-ms pulse width, 7.3 mW/mm 2 ) were observed consistently (FIG. 4E). After CNQX injection, we observed no responsive neural activities corresponding to laser pulses (FIG. 4F) and neurons started to respond to laser pulses after several minutes of recovery (FIG. 4G). We calculated the peak-to-peak amplitude of each optically evoked neural activity during the entire experiment and we can observe the gradual decrease and increase of the amplitude which represents the drug intervention and recovery processes, respectively (FIG. 4H). We also observed a reduced peak-to-peak amplitude of the recovered signals compared to those before drug injection (FIG. 4I: repeated measure one-way ANOVA Tukey's multiple comparisons test, ** p<0.01 (Before vs. After, p=0.0044), * p<0.05 (After vs. Recovery, p=0.0134, n=3). The data shown in FIGS. 4E-4I were bandpass-filtered in the frequency range of 0.3-5 kHz while the unfiltered raw data still presents optically stimulated signal before and after CNQX injection (FIG. 16), which indicates that CNQX only affected neurons close to the microfluidic channel while the neighboring neurons that were not in contact with CNQX still responded to laser pulses.

[0136] To further demonstrate the multifunctional capability of the fiber probes, we have also employed the spatially expandable fiber probes (fiber F2) for seizure induction via repetitive optical stimulation and simultaneous electrical recording. It has been previously reported that repetitive optical stimulation can perturb the normal hippocampal activity to induce seizure-like after discharges (Osawa, S. et al. Optogenetically induced seizure and the longitudinal hippocampal network dynamics. Plos One 8, e60928(2013)). Here, we implanted the spatially expandable fiber probes (Fiber F2) to target the brain regions of cortex and hippocampus (rostral CA1 , caudal CA1 , and CA3) and performed repetitive optical stimulation to one location (rostral CA1) to induce seizure-like afterdischarges (n=10). During the stimulation, both 10 Hz and 20 Hz light pulses were delivered for 10-30 seconds at a pulse width of 5-15 ms and multiple optical stimulation trials were performed. We can observe that large spikes appeared following optical stimulation and gradually became synchronous in all these four areas (FIGS. 4J-4L and FIG. 17). These seizure-like afterdischarges continued for a duration of 7.5-131.5 s without any optical stimulation. These results show that our multifunctional spatially expandable fiber probes allow for the manipulation and recording of neural activities across multiple brain regions, which can be useful for both basic neuroscience and disease applications.

Multisite in vivo recordings by fiber probes in a mouse model of infection-induced epilepsy

[0137] The utility of depth-dependent fiber probes and spatially expandable fiber probes for studying dynamic spatiotemporal structure of seizure was investigated using a mouse model of viral infection-induced temporal lobe epilepsy. In this model, wild type mice infected intracortically with Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) show acute behavioral seizures during the first week of infection, exhibit clinically relevant pathological and physiological changes in the hippocampus, survived the infection and later develop chronic epilepsy after approximately two months of infection (Patel, D. C. et al. Hippocampal TNFalpha Signaling Contributes to Seizure Generation in an Infection-Induced Mouse Model of Limbic Epilepsy. eNeuro 4(2017); and Pitkanen, A., Buckmaster, P. S., Galanopoulou, A. S. & Moshe, S. L. Models of seizures and epilepsy. Second edition edn, (Elsevier/Academic Press, 2017)). Detection of seizures in this model has been reported previously by video encephalography (vEEG) studies that used traditional stainless steel electrodes implanted either epidurally or in the dentate gyrus (Patel, D. C. et al. Hippocampal TNFalpha Signaling Contributes to Seizure Generation in an Infection- Induced Mouse Model of Limbic Epilepsy. eNeuro 4(2017); and Stewart, K. A., Wilcox, K. S., Fujinami, R. S. & White, H. S. Development of postinfection epilepsy after Theiler's virus infection of C57BL/6 mice. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 69, 1210-1219(2010)). These studies were limited by their use of single-channel recording, and thus, could not provide information on the brain regions implicated in seizure generation and propagation. Our multisite fiber-based probes could be very useful to detect network activity from various regions while minimizing damage to the brain. [0138] We implanted depth-dependent fiber probes in mice either vertically (F3) to the skull (straight implant) for targeting cortex (CTX), CA1 and CA3 areas of hippocampus, and hypothalamus (HY) (straight implant, n=3), or at an angle (F3) to the skull (angular implant, n=4) for targeting CTX, CA1 , CA3, and amygdala (AMG) (FIG. 5B and FIG. 5F). The spatially expandable fiber probes were implanted to target CA1 , CA3, and thalamus (FIG. 5J). The CA1 region of the hippocampus is highly susceptible to TMEV-induced cell death with a partial or complete loss of pyramidal cell layer, whereas the pyramidal neurons in the area CA3 remain largely intact during acute seizures 64 . The neuronal circuitry in the CA3 region becomes hyperexcitable during epileptogenesis following TMEV infection 65 . Therefore, two electrodes of the fiber probe were inserted into the CA1 and CA3 regions to detect any difference in the field potential in these two regions. The remaining electrodes were targeted to cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus to detect generalized electrographic activity during the propagation of seizures. FIG. 5A shows an example of EEG recording obtained by a depth-dependent fiber probe implanted in the amygdala of TMEV-infected mouse. Various electrographic features associated with seizures such as preictal spiking, the gradual evolution of amplitude and frequency of spikes during the ictal phase, post-ictal spiking and post-ictal suppression were detected by the fiber probe. Representative EEG traces from each brain region during a convulsive seizure (refer to movie S1 for seizure video and EEG recording) and their corresponding frequency distributions are shown in FIGS. 18A-18D(straight implant) and in FIGS. 5G-5H (angled implant). Similarly, FIGS. 5C-5D shows EEG traces and their corresponding frequency distributions for a nonconvulsive seizure (straight implant). The power spectrum of electrographic discharges during the ictal period was computed to compare seizure severity between the brain regions tested (FIG. 5E and FIG. 5I, FIGS. 18A-18D). For a straight implant, mean powers of signals recorded from CTX, CA3, and HY were almost identical for convulsive seizures, whereas cortex showed significantly higher activity during nonconvulsive seizures compared to other brain regions (FIG. 5E: CTX vs. CA1 - * p<0.05, ** p<0.01 , *** p<0.001 , **** p<0.0001 ; CTX vs. CA3 - *p<0.05, tp O.OI ; CTX vs. HY - # p<0.05, ## p<0.01 ; n=14 seizures). For angular implant, mean powers of signals detected by electrodes implanted in CA3 and amygdala were significantly higher than signal intensity in cortex and CA1 (Fig. 5i: CA1 vs. CA3 and CA1 vs. AMG - †††† p<0.0001 ; CTX vs. AMG - # p<0.05, ## p<0.01 ; n=20 seizures). The mean power of signal recorded from CA1 was significantly lower than that from other brain regions for convulsive seizures detected by both straight and angled implants, which reflects TMEV-induced neuronal damage predominantly in the CA1 region (FIG. 5L and FIG. 5M). Similarly, the spatially expandable fiber probes also detected robust electrographic activity in CA3 compared to CA1 (FIG. 5K, n=12 seizures, n=3 animals).

[0139] Both clinical and animal studies have identified a crucial role of the amygdala, a part of the temporal lobe, in epileptogenesis (Aroniadou-Anderjaska, V., Fritsch, B., Qashu, F. & Braga, M. F. M. Pathology and pathophysiology of the amygdala in epileptogenesis and epilepsy. Epilepsy Res 78, 102-116(2008)). A large number of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) shows extensive neuropathology in the amygdala, in addition to hippocampal damage. Animal studies suggest that the amygdala is even more susceptible to the generation of seizures than the hippocampus, which may explain faster development of electrical kindling-induced seizures in the amygdala than in the hippocampus. In addition, anxiety and depression are common comorbidities associated with TLE, and the neuronal circuitry in the amygdala and hippocampus is strongly associated with the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression (Kwon, O. Y. & Park, S. P. Depression and anxiety in people with epilepsy. J Clin Neurol 10, 175-188(2014)). Indeed, TMEV-infected epileptic mice also show anxiety behavior. Therefore, severe electrographic activity detected in the amygdala and the CA3 region of the hippocampus during TMEV-induced convulsive seizures provides a basis for further investigation of changes in network connectivity between the amygdala and hippocampus in this model.

Evaluation of fiber probe and stainless steel microwire biocompatibility using immunohistochemistry

[0140] Reactive tissue response to our multifunctional fiber-based probe was assessed using immunohistochemical analysis of surrounding brain tissue from mice implanted for four-weeks with either a multifunctional probe Fiber F1 or a conventional stainless steel probe (n=3). The presence of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was used to assess astrocyte reactivity to the probe, ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1) was used as a marker of microglial response, and lastly, the neuron-specific protein NeuN was used to analyze neuronal density. Representative images from the multifunctional probe and stainless steel probe are presented in FIGS. 6A-6G. Neuronal density, microglia density, and astrocyte reactivity were compared between all groups, and no significant difference was observed, as shown in FIGS. 6E-6G. We also validated the biocompatibility of the Fiber F2 by implanting the Fiber F2 probe or stainless steel wire into the hippocampus region of wild type mice for four weeks (n=3) as shown in FIGS. 19A-19G. Conclusion

[0141] These examples demonstrated the development and application of spatially expandable multifunctional fiber-based probes for mapping and modulating brain activities across distant regions in the deep brain. The multisite multifunctional interfaces along a single fiber are created using a femtosecond laser micromachining technique. Furthermore, the integration of a helix scaffolding fiberwith multifunctional fiber arrays fully extends the capabilities of fiber-based neural probes from a 1 D single-site interface to 3D multi-site brain interfaces. These probes provide a powerful platform for recording localized spike activities and field potentials and performing optogenetic and chemical modulation of the activities in spaced deep brain regions. Our customizable fiber probe is also readily compatible with commercial EEG setup allowing us to detect multiple foci and different brain activities among brain regions of interest in the TMEV- infected seizure model. Recordings in epileptic mice illustrate the power of the spatially expandable fiber probes to simultaneously record from distant brain regions allowing circuit analysis of the epileptic brain. In the future, a higher density of electrodes and optical or chemical interfacing sites in these spatially expandable fiber-based probes can be explored to enable a larger recording or stimulation sample. Closed-loop systems that combine the detection of seizure foci with localized intervention can be developed which can significantly improve the effective treatment of seizure before clinical onset. Finally, these probes can enable a leap forward towards the understanding the brain circuitry in the hard-to-access deep subcortical regions, and facilitate the development of new therapeutic methods for treating various brain diseases, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, addiction, depression, autism, etc.

[0142] It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the present disclosure are merely possible examples of implementations, and are set forth only for a clear understanding of the principles of the disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above- described embodiments of the disclosure without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the disclosure. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure.