Evaluation of high-density, multi-contact nerve cuffs for activation of grasp muscles in monkeys

N. A. Brill, S. N. Naufel, K. Polasek, C. Ethier, J. Cheesborough, S. Agnew, L. E. Miller, D. J. Tyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective. The objective of this work was to evaluate whether nerve cuffs can selectively activate hand muscles for functional electrical stimulation (FES). FES typically involves identifying and implanting electrodes in many individual muscles, but nerve cuffs only require implantation at a single site around the nerve. This method is surgically more attractive. Nerve cuffs may also more effectively stimulate intrinsic hand muscles, which are difficult to implant and stimulate without spillover to adjacent muscles. Approach. To evaluate its ability to selectively activate muscles, we implanted and tested the flat interface nerve electrode (FINE), which is designed to selectively stimulate peripheral nerves that innervate multiple muscles (Tyler and Durand 2002 IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 10 294-303). We implanted FINEs on the nerves and bipolar intramuscular wires for recording compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) from up to 20 muscles in each arm of six monkeys. We then collected recruitment curves while the animals were anesthetized. Main result. A single FINE implanted on an upper extremity nerve in the monkey can selectively activate muscles or small groups of muscles to produce multiple, independent hand functions. Significance. FINE cuffs can serve as a viable supplement to intramuscular electrodes in FES systems, where they can better activate intrinsic and extrinsic muscles with lower currents and less extensive surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number036003
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 27 2018


  • brain machine interface
  • electrodes
  • functional electrical stimulation
  • macaque
  • nerve stimulation
  • neural prostheses
  • peripheral nerves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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