Aniruddha's first author paper on vagus nerve fascicle splitting and merging, using microCT images, was published in JNE

Upadhye, Aniruddha R., Chaitanya Kolluru, Lindsey Druschel, Luna Al Lababidi, Sami S. Ahmad, Dhariyat M. Menendez, Ozge N. Buyukcelik, et al. “Fascicles Split or Merge Every ∼560 Microns within the Human Cervical Vagus Nerve.” Journal of Neural Engineering 19, no. 5 (November 2022): 054001.

Objective. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is Food and Drug Administration-approved for epilepsy, depression, and obesity, and stroke rehabilitation; however, the morphological anatomy of the vagus nerve targeted by stimulatation is poorly understood. Here, we used microCT to quantify the fascicular structure and neuroanatomy of human cervical vagus nerves (cVNs). Approach. We collected eight mid-cVN specimens from five fixed cadavers (three left nerves, five right nerves). Analysis focused on the 'surgical window': 5 cm of length, centered around the VNS implant location. Tissue was stained with osmium tetroxide, embedded in paraffin, and imaged on a microCT scanner. We visualized and quantified the merging and splitting of fascicles, and report a morphometric analysis of fascicles: count, diameter, and area. Main results. In our sample of human cVNs, a fascicle split or merge event was observed every ∼560 µm (17.8 ± 6.1 events cm−1). Mean morphological outcomes included: fascicle count (6.6 ± 2.8 fascicles; range 1–15), fascicle diameter (514 ± 142 µm; range 147–1360 µm), and total cross-sectional fascicular area (1.32 ± 0.41 mm2; range 0.58–2.27 mm). Significance. The high degree of fascicular splitting and merging, along with wide range in key fascicular morphological parameters across humans may help to explain the clinical heterogeneity in patient responses to VNS. These data will enable modeling and experimental efforts to determine the clinical effect size of such variation. These data will also enable efforts to design improved VNS electrodes.

Derrick's EMBC conference paper was published - Glasgow 2022

Liu, Derrick X., Danny V. Lam, Yingyi Gao, Rachel C. LeBlanc, Alyssa A. Usab, Elizabeth S. Fielding, Charlotte L. Brunkalla, Kevin Yang, and Andrew J. Shoffstall. “Characterization of a Temporary Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Electrode Utilizing a Bioabsorbable Suture Substrate.” In 2022 44th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC), 5094–98, 2022.

Electrical stimulation after peripheral nerve injury (PNI) has the potential to promote more rapid and complete recovery of damaged fiber tracts. While permanently implanted devices are commonly used to treat chronic or persistent conditions, they are not ideal solutions for transient medical therapies due to high costs, increased risk of surgical injury, irritation, infection, and persistent inflammation at the site of the implant. Furthermore, removal of temporary leads placed on or around peripheral nerves may have unacceptable risk for nerve injury, which is counterproductive in developing therapies for PNI treatment. Transient devices which provide effective clinical stimulation while being capable of harmless bioabsorption may overcome key challenges in these areas. However, current bioabsorbable devices are limited in their robustness and require complex fabrication strategies and novel materials which may complicate their clinical translation pathway. In this study, we present a simple bioabsorbable / biodegradable electrode fabricated by modifying standard absorbable sutures, and we present data characterizing our prototype's stability in vitro and in vivo.

George and Dhariyat's JoVE paper evaluating automated craniotomy drilling was accepted

Hoeferlin, G., D. Menendez, O. Krebs, J. Capadona, and Shoffstall, A.J. “Assessment of Thermal Damage from Robot-Drilled Craniotomy for Cranial Window Surgery in Mice.” JoVE, In Press 2022.

Abstract tbd

Derrick Liu graduated with his M.S. in BME

Derrick's MS project focused on the development and evaluation of a novel resorbable stimulation electrode.


Maddie Lindemann graduated with her M.S. in MechE

Congratulations Maddie! Thesis: The Design and Development of a 3D Printed Hindlimb Stabilization Apparatus for the Measurement of Stimulation-Evoked Ankle Torque in the Rat.


Notice of Award: Collaboration with Dr. Grill and Dr. Ludwig on our NIH SPARC Project to visualize the vagus nerve using novel imaging techniques.

Summer 2020

The Great Flood 2020! The lab is flooded and moves to the 5th floor

March 2020

Global Pandemic; Lab Moves Virtual

March 2020

Notice of Award: Danny received the prestigious NSF GRFP Fellowship. Congratulations Danny!

March 2020

Book Chapter Accepted: Shoffstall and Capadona published a chapter on Bioelectronic Neural Implants in the new Biomaterials Science Textbook edited by Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert

Shoffstall, Andrew J., and Jeffrey R. Capadona. “2.5.7 - Bioelectronic Neural Implants.” In Biomaterials Science (Fourth Edition), edited by William R. Wagner, Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert, Guigen Zhang, and Michael J. Yaszemski, 1153–68. Academic Press, 2020.

In this chapter, we discuss the fundamentals required for understanding the field of bioelectronics devices. We provide an overview of specific technologies, applications, and failure modes for existing and emerging approaches. Biomaterials-based strategies are a key to helping to solve some of the major problems in the field: chronic stability, biological tissue response and biocompatibility, and commercialization potential. The chapter is not intended to be a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all the latest technical developments as the field is rapidly changing. The intended reader is instead the new biomaterials-focused undergraduate or early graduate student interested in gaining an appreciation of the high level technical and physiological considerations in neural bioelectronic interfacing.


Manuscript Accepted: Congratulations James! Trevathan et al., "A Truly Injectable Neural Stimulation Electrode Made from an In Body Curing Polymer/Metal Composite" Advanced Healthcare Materials

Trevathan, J. K., I. W. Baumgart, E. N. Nicolai, B. A. Gosink, A. J. Asp, M. L. Settell, S. R. Polaconda, et al. “An Injectable Neural Stimulation Electrode Made from an In-Body Curing Polymer/Metal Composite.” Adv Healthc Mater 8, no. 23 (December 2019): e1900892.

Implanted neural stimulation and recording devices hold vast potential to treat a variety of neurological conditions, but the invasiveness, complexity, and cost of the implantation procedure greatly reduce access to an otherwise promising therapeutic approach. To address this need, a novel electrode that begins as an uncured, flowable prepolymer that can be injected around a neuroanatomical target to minimize surgical manipulation is developed. Referred to as the Injectrode, the electrode conforms to target structures forming an electrically conductive interface which is orders of magnitude less stiff than conventional neuromodulation electrodes. To validate the Injectrode, detailed electrochemical and microscopy characterization of its material properties is performed and the feasibility of using it to stimulate the nervous system electrically in rats and swine is validated. The silicone-metal-particle composite performs very similarly to pure wire of the same metal (silver) in all measures, including exhibiting a favorable cathodic charge storage capacity (CSCC ) and charge injection limits compared to the clinical LivaNova stimulation electrode and silver wire electrodes. By virtue of its simplicity, the Injectrode has the potential to be less invasive, more robust, and more cost-effective than traditional electrode designs, which could increase the adoption of neuromodulation therapies for existing and new indications.

Notice of Award: Lab is awarded NIH U18; collaboration with Kip Ludwig, Doug Weber, Scott Lempka, Neuronoff Inc., to evaluate injectable electrode system for minimally invasive DRG stimulation

Summer 2019

Notice of Award: Lab is awarded first VA Merit Review; collaboration with Anirban Sen Gupta, Haima Therapeutics to study platelet-inspired drug delivery to intracortical microelectrodes

Summer 2019

First Ph D Students Join: Welcome to Danny Lam and Kevin Yang!!!

Summer 2019

Lab Established

July 2019

Case Western Reserve University

Biomedical Engineering

Neural Engineering Center