Multielectrode array recordings of bladder and perineal primary afferent activity from the sacral dorsal root ganglia

J Neural Eng. 2011 Oct;8(5):056010. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/8/5/056010. Epub 2011 Aug 30.


The development of bladder and bowel neuroprostheses may benefit from the use of sensory feedback. We evaluated the use of high-density penetrating microelectrode arrays in sacral dorsal root ganglia (DRG) for recording bladder and perineal afferent activity. Arrays were inserted in S1 and S2 DRG in three anesthetized cats. Neural signals were recorded while the bladder volume was modulated and mechanical stimuli were applied to the perineal region. In two experiments, 48 units were observed that tracked bladder pressure with their firing rates (79% from S2). At least 50 additional units in each of the three experiments (274 total; 60% from S2) had a significant change in their firing rates during one or more perineal stimulation trials. This study shows the feasibility of obtaining bladder-state information and other feedback signals from the pelvic region with a sacral DRG electrode interface located in a single level. This natural source of feedback would be valuable for providing closed-loop control of bladder or other pelvic neuroprostheses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiology*
  • Hypogastric Plexus / physiology
  • Male
  • Microelectrodes
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Perineum / innervation*
  • Perineum / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Pressure
  • Rectum / physiology
  • Sacrum
  • Scrotum / physiology
  • Urinary Bladder / innervation*
  • Urinary Bladder / physiology*