Pulsatile spinal cord surrogate for intradural neuromodulation studies

S. Wilson, M. A. Howard, J. D. Rossen, T. J. Brennan, B. D. Dalm, N. S. Dahdaleh, M. Utz, G. T. Gillies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have designed, built and tested a novel spinal cord surrogate that mimics the low-amplitude cardiac-driven pulsations of the human spinal cord, for use in developing intradural implants to be used in a novel form of neuromodulation for the treatment of intractable pain and motor system dysfunction. The silicone surrogate has an oval cross section, 10mm major axis×6mm minor axis, and incorporates a 3mm diameter×3cm long angioplasty balloon that serves as the pulsation actuator. When pneumatically driven at 1 Hz and 1.5 atmospheres (≈ 1140mm Hg), the surrogate's diametric pulsation is ≈ 100 μm, which corresponds well to in vivo observations. The applications for this surrogate are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-25
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Intradural devices
  • Neuromodulation
  • Pial surface
  • Spinal cord
  • Tissue surrogates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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