STIMULATOR FOR SELECTIVE ACTIVATION WITHIN NERVE TRUNKS
DESCRIPTION (Applicant's Abstract) The goal of our proposed research program is
to extend the function and improve the reliability of neural prostheses through
the development of selective stimulation tools that allow a single nerve-based
electrode to replace multiple muscle-based electrodes. The technology, which
has been explored in both chronic animal and human experiments, takes advantage
of the topographical organization of nerve fibers in a nerve trunk. Extensive
research has shown that it is possible to selectively activate nerve fibers in
discrete regions of a nerve trunk through control and steering of the
excitatory field created within the electrode.
The Field Steering Technique requires multicontact self-sizing spiral nerve
cuff electrodes manufactured with four radially spaced monopoles, and a
stimulator that allows each electrode contact to act as either an anode or
cathode and allows multiple channels to trigger simultaneously. The electrodes
required by the technique are currently available to researchers who want to
advance their projects using this technology. However, when asked if the
stimulator required is also available, we must now answer "no." With the
project described in this application, we intend to design an implantable
stimulator that will meet the clinical demand for improved methods of neural
In Phase I, feasibility will be demonstrated through circuit design,
prototypes, and extensive benchtop testing. In Phase II, the implantable
version will be built and chronic in vivo testing will be performed.
PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION:
Neural prostheses are used to activate efferent nerves to restore motor function or to
activate afferent nerves to provide sensory information to the central nervous system.
A variety of neuroprosthetic systems have been or are currently under development
for use by individuals with a wide range of neurological and physical impairments. The
Field Steering Technique allows a single nerve-based electrode to replace multiple
muscle-based electrodes, while extending the function and improving the reliability of
the neural prostheses. An implantable stimulator is the key for commercial application
of the technology.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Timothy J. Crish
AXON ENGINEERING, INC.
15264 NEO PKY GARFIELD HEIGHTS, OH 44128
Number of Employees: