Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Method for Amplifying Signals from Individual Nerve Fascicles to Above 250 uVpp

Technology #6457

Monitoring neurological physiology Monitoring and measuring neurological activity is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, pain management, and the control of prosthesis. The human nerve fiber has a complex geometry, emits small signals, and reacts poorly to direct electrical wire measurement, which makes it difficult to record data directly. Cuff electrodes can be placed directly around the nerve for recording, but the acquired signals are often below desired thresholds. The direct application of electrical wires to human nerves also produces low signals and creates an unstable interface that typically lasts less than a few months. Thus there is great interest in developing methods than can amplify and sustain nerve signals for more accurate and comprehensive measurement.

Method for amplifying signals from individual nerve fascicles to above 250 uVpp

The proposed technology is a method of measuring signals from individual nerve fascicles that involves attaching a 1 x 3 cm harvested muscle graft to individual subsections of a dissected nerve. An electrical wire can then be placed in or on the graft and after the nerve grows into the muscle, the muscle amplifies the signals and they can be recorded on the wires using a bio-amplifier. The developed method has successfully amplified the recorded signals from individual nerve fascicles 100 fold and achieved a stable interface over time.

Applications

  • Detect pain
  • Observe pathological conditions
  • Evaluate therapeutics
  • Control prosthetic limbs
  • Develop diagnostics
  • Monitor surgical procedures
  • Research and development
  • Education

Advantages

  • Observe individual nerve subsections
  • Detection of signals over longer time intervals
  • Stable monitoring interface