Micro-Electrodes Implanted in a Human Nerve


Status: Enrolling by invitation
Keywords: Hand , Micro-Electrodes , Amputation , Spinal Cord Injury , Peripheral Nerve Injury
IRB Number: 00055621
Specialty: Anesthesiology, Surgery, General
Sub Specialties:

Brief Summary

We will investigate basic physiology of human peripheral nerves using high-count microelectrode arrays implanted into peripheral nerves of patients with limb amputations or peripheral nerve injury. These microelectrodes will be custom-made and are not available for commercial distribution. We hypothesize that recording neural signals from a large number of microelectrodes will provide selective motor information in high enough numbers to allow control over future artificial devices with many moving parts, i.e. artificial limbs with shoulder, elbow, wrist, and/or individual fingers that move. These studies will also investigate to what extent microstimulation of nerve fibers can provide sensory feedback from a prosthetic limb.

We will also conduct up to three acute surgeries where a Utah slanted Electrode Array (USEA) will be implanted in volunteers who are about to undergo limb amputations.  These acute implantations will provide Dr. Hutchinson with human surgical experience in implanting USEAs and evaluating the containment system we will be using to immobilize the implanted USEA in the nerve. 

Principal Investigator: Douglas Hutchinson
Department: Orthopedic Surgery
Co Investigator:

Contact Information

Name:Nousheen Alasti
Phone: 801-587-5488
Email: Nousheen.Alasti@hsc.utah.edu

Inclusion Criteria

We plan to enroll a maximum of twelve patients for this study. Patients will be selected amongst those with amputations or undergoing an elective amputation, with peripheral nerve injury, or chronic pain patients who are candidates for nerve or spinal stimulator. Patients must be at least 18 years of age and less than 65 years of age. The risks and benefits will be explained to the patients and families prior to obtaining consent. 

Exclusion Criteria

Exclusion criteria include incarceration, pregnancy, inability to consent, and psychiatric comorbidity. Additionally, medical conditions that significantly increase the risk of adverse effects of general anesthesia will bar inclusion. Patients who are pregnant will be excluded from this study due to the risks posed by multiple rounds of anesthetic administration. Therefore, a pregnancy test will be given to all potentially fertile females.