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ItemIn-vivo application of low frequency alternating currents on porcine cervical vagus nerve evokes reversible nerve conduction block(BMC, 2021-06-30) Muzquiz, Maria Ivette; Richardson, Lindsay; Vetter, Christian; Smolik, Macallister; Alhawwash, Awadh; Goodwill, Adam; Bashirullah, Rizwan; Carr, Michael; Yoshida, Ken; Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering and TechnologyBackground: This paper describes a method to reversibly block nerve conduction through direct application of a 1 Hz sinusoidal current waveform delivered through a bipolar nerve cuff electrode. This low frequency alternating current (LFAC) waveform was previously shown to reversibly block the effects of vagal pulse stimulation evoked bradycardia in-vivo in the anaesthetised rat model (Mintch et al. 2019). The present work measured the effectiveness of LFAC block on larger caliber myelinated vagal afferent fibers in human sized nerve bundles projecting to changes in breathing rate mediated by the Hering-Breuer (HB) reflex in anaesthetized domestic swine (n=5). Methods: Two bipolar cuff electrodes were implanted unilaterally to the left cervical vagus nerve, which was crushed caudal to the electrodes to eliminate cardiac effects. A tripolar recording cuff electrode was placed rostral to the bipolar stimulating electrodes on the same nerve to measure changes in the compound nerve action potentials (CNAP) elicited by the vagal pulse stimulation and conditioned by the LFAC waveform. Standard pulse stimulation was applied at a sufficient level to induce a reduction in breathing rate through the HB reflex. If unblocked, the HB reflex would cause breathing to slow down and potentially halt completely. Block was quantified by the ability of LFAC to reduce the effect of the HB reflex by monitoring the respiration rate during LFAC alone, LFAC and vagal stimulation, and vagal stimulation alone. Results: LFAC achieved 87.2 ±8.8% block (n=5) at current levels of 1.1 ±0.3 mAp (current to peak), which was well within the water window of the working electrode. CNAP showed changes that directly correlated to the effectiveness of LFAC block, which manifested itself as the slowing and amplitude reduction of components of the CNAP. Conclusion: These novel findings suggest that LFAC is a potential alternative or complementary method to other electrical blocking techniques in clinical applications. ItemA Reversible Low Frequency Alternating Current Nerve Conduction Block Applied to Mammalian Autonomic Nerves(MDPI, 2021-07) Muzquiz, M. Ivette; Mintch, Landan; Horn, M. Ryne; Alhawwash, Awadh; Bashirullah, Rizwan; Carr, Michael; Schild, John H.; Yoshida, Ken; Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering and TechnologyElectrical stimulation can be used to modulate activity within the nervous system in one of two modes: (1) Activation, where activity is added to the neural signalling pathways, or (2) Block, where activity in the nerve is reduced or eliminated. In principle, electrical nerve conduction block has many attractive properties compared to pharmaceutical or surgical interventions. These include reversibility, localization, and tunability for nerve caliber and type. However, methods to effect electrical nerve block are relatively new. Some methods can have associated drawbacks, such as the need for large currents, the production of irreversible chemical byproducts, and onset responses. These can lead to irreversible nerve damage or undesirable neural responses. In the present study we describe a novel low frequency alternating current blocking waveform (LFACb) and measure its efficacy to reversibly block the bradycardic effect elicited by vagal stimulation in anaesthetised rat model. The waveform is a sinusoidal, zero mean(charge balanced), current waveform presented at 1 Hz to bipolar electrodes. Standard pulse stimulation was delivered through Pt-Black coated PtIr bipolar hook electrodes to evoke bradycardia. The conditioning LFAC waveform was presented either through a set of CorTec® bipolar cuff electrodes with Amplicoat® coated Pt contacts, or a second set of Pt Black coated PtIr hook electrodes. The conditioning electrodes were placed caudal to the pulse stimulation hook electrodes. Block of bradycardic effect was assessed by quantifying changes in heart rate during the stimulation stages of LFAC alone, LFAC-and-vagal, and vagal alone. The LFAC achieved 86.2±11.1% and 84.3±4.6% block using hook (N = 7) and cuff (N = 5) electrodes, respectively, at current levels less than 110 µAp (current to peak). The potential across the LFAC delivering electrodes were continuously monitored to verify that the blocking effect was immediately reversed upon discontinuing the LFAC. Thus, LFACb produced a high degree of nerve block at current levels comparable to pulse stimulation amplitudes to activate nerves, resulting in a measurable functional change of a biomarker in the mammalian nervous system.