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Artif Organs. 1997 Mar;21(3):207-9.

Effect of long-term implanted nerve cuff electrodes on the electrophysiological properties of human sensory nerves.

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  • 1Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Denmark.


During a long-term implantation (307 days) of a tripolar split cuff electrode around the palmar digital nerve to the radial side of the left index finger, branching off the median nerve in a medullary lesioned C6 patient, the physiological state of the nerve was intensively monitored. The resulting sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitude was recorded, using both near-nerve electrodes and the implanted cuff electrode. The SNAP amplitude declined within 10 days to approximately 50% of the first SNAP cuff amplitude measured on Day 2 after implantation and recovered to the initial amplitude within 3 months. The SNAP amplitude measurements made with near-nerve electrodes were consistent with the cuff results; the SNAP conduction velocity (CV) recorded by the near-nerve electrodes and the cuff electrode was constant during the whole implantation period. This is in agreement with the results from two other patients: one with a cuff implanted around the sural nerve, and the other with a cuff implanted around a branch of the tibial nerve. These results and animals studies show that the cuff electrode is an electrically stable neural-electrical transducer.

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