Focal stimulation of the sheep motor cortex with a chronically implanted minimally invasive electrode array mounted on an endovascular stent

Nicholas L. Opie, Sam E. John, Gil S. Rind, Stephen M. Ronayne, Yan T. Wong, Giulia Gerboni, Peter E. Yoo, Timothy John Haynes Lovell, Theodore C. Scordas, Stefan L. Wilson, Anthony Dornom, Thomas Vale, Terence John O'Brien, David B Grayden, Clive Newton May, Thomas J Oxley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Direct electrical stimulation of the brain can alleviate symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy and other neurological disorders. However, access to the brain requires invasive procedures, such as the removal of a portion of the skull or the drilling of a burr hole. Also, electrode implantation into tissue can cause inflammatory tissue responses and brain trauma, and lead to device failure. Here, we report the development and application of a chronically implanted platinum electrode array mounted on a nitinol endovascular stent for the localized stimulation of cortical tissue from within a blood vessel. Following percutaneous angiographic implantation of the device in sheep, we observed stimulation-induced responses of the facial muscles and limbs of the animals, similar to those evoked by electrodes implanted via invasive surgery. Proximity of the electrode to the motor cortex, yet not its orientation, was integral to achieving reliable responses from discrete neuronal populations. The minimally invasive endovascular surgical approach offered by the stent-mounted electrode array might enable safe and efficacious stimulation of focal regions in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-914
Number of pages15
JournalNature Biomedical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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