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Spiral Cuff for Fiber-Diameter Selective VNS

Authors: P. Pečlin, J. Rozman


In this paper we present the modeling, design, and experimental testing of a nerve cuff multi-electrode system for diameter-selective vagus nerve stimulation. The multi-electrode system contained ninety-nine platinum electrodes embedded within a self-curling spiral silicone sheet. The electrodes were organized in a matrix having nine parallel groups, each containing eleven electrodes. Preliminary testing of the nerve cuff was performed in an isolated segment of a swinish left cervical vagus nerve. For selective vagus nerve stimulation, precisely defined current quasitrapezoidal, asymmetric and biphasic stimulating pulses were applied to preselected locations along the left vagus segment via appointed group of three electrodes within the cuff. Selective stimulation was obtained by anodal block. However, these pulses may not be safe for a long-term application because of a frequently used high imbalance between the cathodic and anodic part of the stimulating pulse. Preliminary results show that the cuff was capable of exciting A and B-fibres, and, that for a certain range of parameters used in stimulating pulses, the contribution of A-fibres to the CAP was slightly reduced and the contribution of B-fibres was slightly larger. Results also showed that measured CAPs are not greatly influenced by the imbalance between a charge Qc injected in cathodic and Qa in anodic phase of quasitrapezoidal, asymmetric and biphasic pulses.

Keywords: Vagus nerve stimulation, multi-electrode nerve cuff.

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