Sie sind hier: Startseite Laboratories Stieglitz, Thomas Projects


ActiveBook - A novel active electrode book for multi-functional restoration after spinal cord injury

Project description

It has been shown that electrical stimulation of nerve roots in the spinal canal can restore many functions to people with serious spinal cord injury, to improve their health and quality of life. This requires the use of many stimulating electrodes. However, a major concern in implanted nerve root stimulators for chronic use with patients is safety. Electrodes that are meant for stimulation could, under fault conditions, corrode or electrolyse water in the tissue causing nerve damage. This danger is usually diminished and made acceptable by placing a large blocking capacitor in series with each stimulating electrode. These capacitors determine the physical size of the stimulator which is too large to fit in the spinal canal. Thus, existing implanted devices have a subcutaneous stimulator connected with cables to the intra-thecal nerve root electrodes. Surgeons consider that it is an unacceptable surgical risk to increase the number of cables which pass through the dura, and this limits the number of functions that can be obtained. This is a serious disadvantage given the number of valuable functions that have been shown to be possible. One way to overcome this limitation is to generate the stimulation currents close to the electrodes, inside the dura, but that means that the size of the electronic package must be very small and yet it must still be safe. In this research, we propose to develop a novel technology in the form of an active electrode book that may be directly implanted in the human spinal canal for multi-functional restoration after spinal cord injury. In addition, we will develop new minimal integrated circuit sealing methods for use in small implanted devices, and a new method for laser-fabrication of electrode arrays, which are joined to the stimulator chip. Prototype active electrode books will be produced that will be made available for subsequent pilot studies in patients.

Start/End of project

01.03.2008 until 31.08.2011

Project manager

Stieglitz T

Contact person

Dr. Martin Schüttler


1 = University College London, UK, 2 = Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland


EPSRC, United Kingdom


Implantate, implants, Aufbau- und Verbindungstechnik, assembly and packaging, elektrische Messtechnik, electrical instrumentation, Medizinische Implantate, medical implants, Neuroprothetik, neuroprosthetics
Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge