An electrical stimulation system for bilateral diaphragm pacing was constructed. The stimulator instrument comprises a transmitter and two implantable receivers and nerve electrodes. An optimised transcutaneous link system is described which utilises a radio frequency coupling to transmit both power and stimulus information to the receiver. The receiver unit was constructed in thick-film hybrid technology using bipolar and c.m.o.s. circuits and was packaged in a hermetically sealed metal case. The construction of the transmitter allows a high reliability, low power consumption and flexibility of the stimulus parameter control. A complete, bilateral phrenic nerve pacing system was implanted into a patient suffering from tetraplegia. It is concluded that electrical phrenic nerve stimulation to pace the diaphragm is capable of being used in clinical therapy.
P. Talonen, J. Malmivuo, G. Baer
Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing