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Neurourol Urodyn. 2019 Jun;38(5):1241-1249. doi: 10.1002/nau.23994. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Low pressure voiding induced by a novel implantable pudendal nerve stimulator.

Author information

Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
InCube Labs, San Antonio, Texas.
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



To validate the functionality of an implantable pudendal nerve stimulator under development for Food and Drug Administration approval to restore bladder function after spinal cord injury.


In nine cats under anesthesia, two tripolar cuff electrodes were implanted bilaterally on the pudendal nerves and one bipolar cuff electrode was implanted on the right pudendal nerve central to the tripolar cuff electrode. The pudendal nerve stimulator was implanted subcutaneously on the left lower back along the lumbosacral spine and connected to the cuff electrodes. In five cats, a double lumen catheter was inserted into the bladder through the urethra to infuse saline and measure bladder pressure and another catheter was inserted into the distal urethra to perfuse and measure the back pressure caused by urethral contraction. In four cats, a bladder catheter was inserted into the bladder dome and the urethra was left open so that voiding could occur without urethral outlet obstruction.


The implantable pudendal nerve stimulator was controlled wirelessly and successfully provided the required stimulation waveforms to different cuff electrodes. Pudendal nerve stimulation (PNS) at 5 Hz increased bladder capacity to about 200% of control capacity. PNS at 20 to 30 Hz induced large (80-100 cmH2 O) bladder contractions under isovolumetric conditions. When combined with ipsilateral or bilateral pudendal nerve block induced by 6 to 10 kHz stimulation, PNS at 20 to 30 Hz elicited low pressure (<40 cmH 2 O) efficient (70%) voiding.


The implantable stimulator generated the required stimulation waveforms and successfully induced low pressure efficient voiding in anesthetized cats.


bladder; cat; pudendal nerve; spinal cord injury; stimulator


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