Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Neuroeng., 08 December 2011 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneng.2011.00015

Modeling of a segmented electrode for desynchronizing deep brain stimulation

J. Buhlmann1, L. Hofmann1, P. A. Tass1,2 and C. Hauptmann1*
  • 1 Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine – Neuromodulation, Research Center Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • 2 Department of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy for medically refractory movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. The electrodes, implanted in the target area within the human brain, generate an electric field which activates nerve fibers and cell bodies in the vicinity. Even though the different target nuclei display considerable differences in their anatomical structure, only few types of electrodes are currently commercially available. It is desirable to adjust the electric field and in particular the volume of tissue activated around the electrode with respect to the corresponding target nucleus in a such way that side effects can be reduced. Furthermore, a more selective and partial activation of the target structure is desirable for an optimal application of novel stimulation strategies, e.g., coordinated reset neuromodulation. Hence we designed a DBS electrode with a segmented design allowing a more selective activation of the target structure. We created a finite element model (FEM) of the electrode and analyzed the volume of tissue activated for this electrode design. The segmented electrode activated an area in a targeted manner, of which the dimension and position relative to the electrode could be controlled by adjusting the stimulation parameters for each electrode contact. According to our computational analysis, this directed stimulation might be superior with respect to the occurrence of side effects and it enables the application of coordinated reset neuromodulation under optimal conditions.

Keywords: deep brain stimulation, electrode, finite element model

Citation: Buhlmann J, Hofmann L, Tass PA and Hauptmann C (2011) Modeling of a segmented electrode for desynchronizing deep brain stimulation. Front. Neuroeng. 4:15. doi: 10.3389/fneng.2011.00015

Received: 19 August 2011; Paper pending published: 13 September 2011;
Accepted: 21 November 2011; Published online: 08 December 2011.

Edited by:

Ulrich G. Hofmann, University of Lübeck, Germany

Reviewed by:

Christian K. E. Moll, University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
David J. Anderson, University of Michigan, USA
Thilo Bernhard Krueger, Inomed Medizintechnik GmbH, Germany

Copyright: © 2011 Buhlmann, Hofmann, Tass and Hauptmann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: C. Hauptmann, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine – Neuromodulation, Research Center Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany. e-mail: c.hauptmann@fz-juelich.de