Author(s): Ohsawa I, Inui K
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Abstract The electrical stimulation of an uncut peripheral nerve requires a countermeasure to avoid the spread of current through a loop pathway formed outside the electrode array. Here the use of tripolar electrodes (TE) is proposed. By binding the two end poles, current spread through the loop pathway can theoretically be eliminated since both end poles are held equipotential. Experimentally, we tested the validity of this approach. In chloralose-urethane anesthetized rats, the left cervical vagus (LCV) was placed on TE which could function as such or as bipolar electrodes (BE) by the use of a selector switch. The spread of current to the adjacent tissues (rectus capitis muscle underlying the LCV, and the right cervical vagus (RCV) incised and translocated beside the target, LCV) was compared between TE and BE. When the stimulus intensity was increased, contraction occurred in the capitis muscle with BE, but not TE. Compound spike potentials of A fiber origin were evoked in the non-target RCV on high-intensity stimulation with BE, but not TE. Constant voltage stimulation of the LCV with TE produced bradycardia of the same magnitude as that with BE. In conclusion, constant voltage stimulation using TE can minimize current spread without changing the stimulus's effects.
This article was published in Neurosci Res
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation