The StimRouter System (SRS) is a novel neural prosthesis. It comprises an implanted lead that picks up some of the current delivered through the skin by a surface stimulator and delivers it to a target nerve via a nerve cuff. There are no implanted electronic components. Animal data have shown that the SRS can activate target nerves and muscles without stimulating local nerves under the surface electrodes. A recent test during human peripheral nerve surgery showed that the SRS works similarly in humans. The SRS has the advantages of an implanted stimulator: selectivity, reproducibility and convenience, at a fraction of the cost
SRS neural prosthesis for incontinence and dyssynergia
Stress and urge incontinence are conditions in which the external urethral sphincter (EUS) relaxes involuntarily, resulting in the leakage of urine. Recent animal experiments in our lab have shown that electrical stimulation can be delivered to the pudendal nerve using the SRS, contracting the EUS enough to maintain continence. The next step is to do safety studies for human application.
Related experiments have shown that it is possible to relax the EUS by inhibiting the pudendal nerve with high-frequency stimulation delivered via the SRS. This may provide a means of counteracting bladder-sphincter dyssynergia after spinal cord injury.
GAUNT, R.A.and Prochazka A. Control of urinary bladder function with devices: successes and failures. Prog Brain Res 152: 163-194, 2006.