Evaluation of a transparent cranial implant as a permanent window for cerebral blood flow imaging.
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Laser speckle imaging (LSI) of mouse cerebral blood flow was compared through a transparent nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized zirconia (nc-YSZ) cranial implant over time (at days 0, 14, and 28, n = 3 mice), and vs. LSI through native skull (at day 60, n = 1 mouse). The average sharpness of imaged vessels was found to remain stable, with relative change in sharpness under 7.69% 1.2% over 28 days. Through-implant images of vessels at day 60 appeared sharper and smaller on average, with microvessels clearly visible, compared to through-skull images where vessels appeared blurred and distorted. These results suggest that long-term imaging through this implant is feasible.