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Ventral root or dorsal root ganglion microstimulation to evoke hindlimb motor responses

Bourbeau, Dennis Joseph (2011) Ventral root or dorsal root ganglion microstimulation to evoke hindlimb motor responses. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Functional electrical stimulation is an important therapeutic tool for improving the quality of life of patients following spinal cord injury. Investigators have developed neural interfaces of varying invasiveness and implant location to stimulate neurons and evoke motor responses. Here we present an alternative interface with the ventral roots (VR) or dorsal root ganglia (DRG). We designed preliminary electrophysiology experiments to evaluate the performance of these interfaces, wherein we stimulated lumbar VR or DRG through a penetrating single-wire microelectrode while recording fixed endpoint force and bipolar electromyograms of hindlimb muscles. Data from rat experiments provided evidence for selectivity for target muscles, graded force recruitment, and nontrivial force magnitudes of up to 1 N. Electrophysiology experiments in cats produced similar results to those in rats. In addition, we developed a computational model to estimate the size and quantity of fibers recruited as a function of stimulus amplitude. This model confirmed electrophysiology results showing differences in the thresholds to detect activity in response to VR versus DRG stimulation. The model also provided insights into the mechanisms by which DRG stimulation is more likely to recruit smaller fibers than larger fibers. Finally, we discuss further work to develop and evaluate these potential interfaces.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bourbeau, Dennis Josephdjb46@pitt.eduDJB46
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWeber, Douglasdjw50@pitt.eduDJW50
Committee MemberKoerber, H. Richardrkoerber@pitt.eduRKOERBER
Committee MemberRubin, Jonathan E.jonrubin@pitt.eduJONRUBIN
Committee MemberCui, Xinyan Tracyxic11@pitt.eduXIC11
Date: 19 September 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 22 June 2011
Approval Date: 19 September 2011
Submission Date: 19 July 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cat; computational model; DRG; FES; rat; stimulation; ventral root
Other ID:, etd-07192011-150606
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:52
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:46


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