Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in experimental animals has promoted new indications and refined existing treatments. Implantation of downscaled clinical DBS leads directly compatible with commercially available implantable pulse generators can however be challenging. Accordingly, we have developed a lead implantation device (LID) and technique for minimally invasive implantation of experimental multicontact DBS leads in large research animals.
Materials and methods: The LID carries a small-diameter biocompatible polyimide guide tube which is first used for inserting the stimulating end of the lead and then implanted subcutaneously with the rest of the lead. The functionality of the device was tested by implanting 2 different designs of experimental DBS leads in 12 Göttingen minipigs for up to 12 weeks. The brains were histologically analyzed in order to assess implantation accuracy and local tissue reaction.
Results and conclusions: The LID was easy to handle and capable of accurate stereotaxic implantation of downscaled experimental DBS leads in the predetermined target brain structures with minimal surrounding tissue reaction. The device may benefit future large animal DBS research as it allows for precise implantation of DBS leads and may have implications for further refinement of clinical DBS leads.
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