Optomized Electrode Placement Leads to Stimulating Results

Photo of Stephan Blanz

Spatially selective stimulation of the pig vagus nerve to modulate target effect versus side effect is a culmination of years of effort led by Stephan Blanz, with WITNe,  in collaboration with Eric Musselman, Nikki Pelot, PhD, PEng, Andrew Shoffstall, Ryan Verner, PhD, Jason Begnaud and Warren Grill. The FDA IDE approved six contact ‘Inspire lead’ for sleep apnea was used on the pig vagus to assess the impact of electrode location on intended effect and side effect. Comprehensive controls were performed including transection of on and off-target vagus branches and paralytics. Direct activation of recurrent laryngeal fibers within the cervical vagus under the Imthera lead and activation of nearby motor nerve fibers outside of the cuff via current escape was carefully assessed. Detailed histology was performed to match on and off-target dose response curves to underlying functional vagotopy based on electrode location. Post-mortem histology and microanatomy was used to build subject specific computational models to demonstrate the impact of underlying vagotopy on electrode location specific results. Congratulations to the entire team!