Dura-Gel: Artificial dura for use with head-fixed and chronic electrophysiology and 2-photon imaging
A soft-setting, bio-compatible silicone gel for the repair and replacement of dura which cures in place to form a cushioning, self-healing and resilient barrier over exposed craniotomies and thereby acts as a dural-substitute where a durotomy has been performed or as a protective layer over intact but exposed dura. Dura-Gel reduces the possibility of inflammation, reduces cerebrospinal fluid leakage, reduces humidity loss from the craniotomy, and remains soft for many weeks to months, thereby allowing microelectrode penetration with minimal force.
Our silicon neural probes will penetrate the gel with forces < 0.5 mN thereby enabling multiple penetrations over extended time periods. These properties make Dura-Gel suitable for use within chronic or head-fixed acute animals. Dura-gel can also be used for 2-photon imaging studies too.
Application during chronic implant surgery
Dura-Gel can be applied directly to the exposed pia mater or dura mater. We recommend using sufficient quantity of Dura-Gel to cover your craniotomy to a depth of at least 1 mm; prior application of a bead of bone cement around the edge of the craniotomy is a useful technique for creating a dam which allows for thicker applications of Dura-Gel where required, for example in larger animals or implants requiring direct access to superficial tissue layers.
Application in head-fixed semi-chronic animals
For use in acute or head-fixed animals, Dura-Gel allows multiple penetrations with our silicon neural probes and can remain in place for extended periods of time (weeks to months). Should it be necessary to replace the Dura-Gel, it can be removed with a blunt spatula and a fresh mix applied to the exposed craniotomy.