Stimulation of peripheral nerves using conductive hydrogel electrodes

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 Jul;2018:5475-5478. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8513628.


Nerve block via electrical stimulation of nerves requires a device capable of transferring large amounts of charge across the neural interface on chronic time scales. Current metal electrode designs are limited in their ability to safely and effectively deliver this charge in a stable manner. Conductive hydrogel (CH) coatings are a promising alternative to metal electrodes for neural interfacing devices. This study assessed the performance of CH electrodes compared to platinum-iridium (PtIr) electrodes in commercial nerve cuff devices in both the in vitro and acute in vivo environments. CH electrodes were found to have higher charge storage capacities and lower impedances compared to bare PtIr electrodes. Application of CH coatings also resulted in a three-fold increase in in vivo charge injection limit. These significant improvements in electrochemical properties will allow for the design of smaller and safer stimulating devices for nerve block applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Hydrogels*
  • Peripheral Nerves*


  • Hydrogels