Optical parameter variability in laser nerve stimulation: A study of pulse duration, repetition rate, and wavelength

Agnella D. Izzo*, Joseph T. Walsh, E. Duco Jansen, Mark Bendett, Jim Webb, Heather Ralph, Claus Peter Richter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pulsed lasers can evoke neural activity from motor as well as sensory neurons in vivo. Lasers allow more selective spatial resolution of stimulation than the conventional electrical stimulation. To date, few studies have examined pulsed, mid-infrared laser stimulation of nerves and very little of the available optical parameter space has been studied. In this study, a pulsed diode laser, with wavelength between 1.844-1.873 μm, was used to elicit compound action potentials (CAPs) from the auditory system of the gerbil. We found that pulse durations as short as 35 μs elicit a CAP from the cochlea. In addition, repetition rates up to 13 Hz can continually stimulate cochlear spiral ganglion cells for extended periods of time. Varying the wavelength and, therefore, the optical penetration depth, allowed different populations of neurons to be stimulated. The technology of optical stimulation could significantly improve cochlear implants, which are hampered by a lack of spatial selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1108-1114
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Volume54
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Auditory nerve
  • Cochlear implant
  • Spiral ganglion cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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