Skin grafting facilitates the maintenance of head recording chambers for neurophysiological recording
Maintaining a clean, quiescent tissue surface that is free of granulation and infection in the floor of a head-mounted chamber used for intracranial single-unit recording studies typically requires frequent cleaning. Considering the favourable outcomes of ontological surgical techniques that have long been used to create a dry, skin-lined mastoid cavity in patients with chronic otitis media, skin should be an ideal biological dressing to cover otherwise exposed dura mater in recording chambers. In chambers that required frequent cleaning, we harvested a thin layer of skin without hair follicles from the medial surface of the upper arms of two Rhesus monkeys and grafted the skin on the exposed dura surface. Each case resulted in a clean, dry, insensate, self-healing, easily maintained tissue surface that remained healthy despite the reduced frequency of chamber maintenance. We recommend this technique to reduce the potential for infection, to prevent cerebral spinal fluid leakage or bleeding in experiment and to minimise animal anxiety that might otherwise result from frequent chamber cleanings.