Flexible, multichannel cuff electrode for selective electrical stimulation of the mouse trigeminal nerve

Biosens Bioelectron. 2019 Oct 1;142:111493. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2019.111493. Epub 2019 Jul 5.


The trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V), along with other cranial nerves, has in recent years become a popular target for bioelectric medicine due to its direct access to neuromodulatory centers. Trigeminal nerve stimulation is currently being evaluated as an adjunctive treatment for various neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases despite the mechanism of action being in question. In this work, we describe the development and validation of a novel neural interface for the infraorbital branch of the trigeminal nerve utilizing a thin film (TF) nerve cuff containing multiple electrode sites allowing for more selective stimulation of the nerve. We characterized the properties of the device using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, voltage excursions, and in vivo testing. Electrochemical measurements demonstrate that the platinum-based electrodes possess a capacitive charge carrying mechanism suitable for stimulation of biological tissue with a safe charge injection limit of 73.13 μC/cm2. In vivo stimulation experiments show that the TF cuff can reliably stimulate nerve targets eliciting cortical responses similar to a silicone cuff electrode. Furthermore, selecting different pairs of stimulation electrodes on the TF cuff modulated the magnitude and/or spatial pattern of cortical responses suggesting that the device may be able to selectively stimulate different parts of the nerve. These results suggest that the TF cuff is a viable neural interface for stimulation of the infraorbital branch of the trigeminal nerve that enables future research examining the therapeutic mechanisms of trigeminal nerve stimulation.

Keywords: Bipolar cuff electrode; Flexible electronics; Selective stimulation; Somatosensory evoked potential; Trigeminal nerve stimulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Equipment Design
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / therapy
  • Trigeminal Nerve / physiology*