State-dependent bioelectronic interface to control bladder function

Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 11;11(1):314. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79493-7.


Electrical stimulation therapies to promote bladder filling and prevent incontinence deliver continuous inhibitory stimulation, even during bladder emptying. However, continuous inhibitory stimulation that increases bladder capacity (BC) can reduce the efficiency of subsequent voiding (VE). Here we demonstrate that state-dependent stimulation, with different electrical stimulation parameters delivered during filling and emptying can increase both BC and VE relative to continuous stimulation in rats and cats of both sexes. We show that continuous 10 Hz pudendal nerve stimulation increased BC (120-180% of control) but decreased VE (12-71%, relative to control). In addition to increasing BC, state-dependent stimulation in both rats and cats increased VE (280-759% relative to continuous stimulation); motor bursting in cats increased VE beyond the control (no stimulation) condition (males: 323%; females: 161%). These results suggest that a bioelectronic bladder pacemaker can treat complex voiding disorders, including both incontinence and retention, which paradoxically are often present in the same individual.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Rats
  • Urinary Bladder / physiology*
  • Urination / physiology