skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Silicone Molding and Lifetime Testing of Peripheral Nerve Interfaces for Neuroprostheses

Implantable peripheral nerve cuffs have a large application in neuroprostheses as they can be used to restore sensation to those with upper limb amputations. Modern day prosthetics, while lessening the pain associated with phantom limb syndrome, have limited fine motor control and do not provide sensory feedback to patients. Sensory feedback with prosthetics requires communication between the nervous system and limbs, and is still a challenge to accomplish with amputees. Establishing this communication between the peripheral nerves in the arm and artificial limbs is vital as prosthetics research aims to provide sensory feedback to amputees. Peripheral nerve cuffs restore sensation by electrically stimulating certain parts of the nerve in order to create feeling in the hand. Cuff electrodes have an advantage over standard electrodes as they have high selective stimulation by bringing the electrical interface close to the neural tissue in order to selectively activate targeted regions of a peripheral nerve. In order to further improve the selective stimulation of these nerve cuffs, there is need for finer spatial resolution among electrodes. One method to achieve a higher spatial resolution is to increase the electrode density on the cuff itself. Microfabrication techniques can be used to achieve this higher electrodemore » density. Using L-Edit, a layout editor, microfabricated peripheral nerve cuffs were designed with a higher electrode density than the current model. This increase in electrode density translates to an increase in spatial resolution by at least one order of magnitude. Microfabricated devices also have two separate components that are necessary to understand before implantation: lifetime of the device and assembly to prevent nerve damage. Silicone molding procedures were optimized so that devices do not damage nerves in vivo, and lifetime testing was performed on test microfabricated devices to determine their lifetime in vivo. Future work of this project would include fabricating some of the designed devices and seeing how they compare to the current cuffs in terms of their electrical performance, lifetime, shape, and mechanical properties.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States). Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States