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Title: Focused electrical stimulation using a single current source
Authors: Senn, Philipp
Shepherd, Robert
Fallon, James
Keywords: Cochlear implant
Current focussing
Phased array
Spread of excitation
Electrical stimulation
Issue Date: Jul-2018
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
Citation: Senn, P., R. K. Shepherd, and J. B. Fallon. 2018. Focused electrical stimulation using a single current source. Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print].
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Cochlear implants, while providing significant benefits to recipients, remain limited due to broad neural activation. Focussed multipolar stimulation (FMP) is an advanced stimulation strategy that uses multiple current sources to produce highly focussed patterns of neural excitation in order to overcome these shortcomings. APPROACH: This report presents single-source multipolar stimulation (SSMPsSSMPS), a novel form of stimulation based on a single current source and a passive current divider. Compared to conventional FMP with multiple current sources, SSMPS can be implemented as a modular addition to conventional (i.e. single) current source stimulation systems facilitating charge balance within the cochlea. As with FMP, SSMPS requires the determination of a transimpedance matrix to allow focusing of the stimulation. The first part of this study therefore investigated the effects of varying the probe stimulus (e.g. current level and pulse width) on the measurement of the transimpedance matrix. SSMPS was then studied using in vitro based measurements of voltages at non-stimulated electrodes along an electrode array in normal saline. The voltage reduction with reference to monopolar stimulation was compared to tripolar and common ground stimulation, two clinically established protocolsstimulation modes. Finally, a proof of principle in vivo test of SSMPS in a feline model was performed. MAIN RESULTS: A probe stimulus of at least 40 nC is required to reliably measure the transimpedance matrix. In vitro stimulation using SSMPS resulted in a significantly greater voltage reduction compared to monopolar, tripolar and common ground stimulation. Interestingly, matching measurement and stimulation parameters did not lead to an improved focussing performance. Compared to monopolar stimulation, SSMPS resulted in reduced spread of neural activity in the inferior colliculus, albeit with increased thresholds. SIGNIFICANCE: The present study demonstrates that SSMPS successfully limits the broadening of the excitatory field along the electrode array and a subsequent reduction in the spread of neural excitation.
URI: http://repository.bionicsinstitute.org:8080/handle/123456789/308
ISSN: 1741-2552
Appears in Collections:Bionic Hearing Research Publications

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