Auditory brainstem prosthesis: Biocompatibility of stimulation

J. K. Niparko, R. A. Altschuler, D. A. Evans, X. Xue, J. Farraye, D. J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


As part of a program to develop a central auditory system prosthesis, we have examined the reaction of tissue to different levels of stimulation from electrodes chronically implanted in the cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig. Tolerance and histologic reaction to 20 hours of periodic electrical stimulation of the cochlear nucleus were analyzed. Intraoperative and postoperative electrically evoked middle latency responses were monitored during stimulus trials. The threshold necessary to generate the middle latency responses was frequently below 50 μA. In the animals that received 50 and 100 μA of biphasic charge-balanced stimulation (corresponding to approximately 200 abd 400μC/cm2 phase), adverse tissue reaction was minimal, and glial proliferation along the electrode tract never exceeded 25 μm in width. Stimulation intensities of 150 and 200 μA (approximately 600 abd 800 μC/cm2 phase) produced significant tissue response at the site of the electrode terminus, with necrosis, cell loss, and reactive cells present. Therefore neuronal damage was observed to occur at an intensity far greater than that required for eliciting an electrophysiologic response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-352
Number of pages9
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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