Peripheral nerves are often vulnerable to damage during surgeries, with risks of significant pain, loss of motor function, and reduced quality of life for the patient. Intraoperative methods for monitoring nerve activity are effective, but conventional systems rely on bench-top data acquisition tools with hard–wired connections to electrode leads that must be placed percutaneously inside target muscle tissue. These approaches are time and skill intensive and therefore costly to an extent that precludes their use in many important scenarios. Here we report a soft, skin-mounted monitoring system that measures, stores, and wirelessly transmits electrical signals and physical movement associated with muscle activity, continuously and in real-time during neurosurgical procedures on the peripheral, spinal, and cranial nerves. Surface electromyography and motion measurements can be performed non-invasively in this manner on nearly any muscle location, thereby offering many important advantages in usability and cost, with signal fidelity that matches that of the current clinical standard of care for decision making. These results could significantly improve accessibility of intraoperative monitoring across a broad range of neurosurgical procedures, with associated enhancements in patient outcomes.
Liu, Y., Tian, L., Raj, M. S., Cotton, M., Ma, Y., McGrane, B. L., Huang, Y., & Rogers, J. A. (2018). Intraoperative monitoring of neuromuscular function with soft, skin-mounted wireless devices. npj Digital Medicine, 1, . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-018-0023-7