Interview with Jesse Buckshot

Flat electrode contacts for vagus nerve stimulation
Jesse E. Bucksot , Andrew J. Wells, Kimiya C. Rahebi, Vishnoukumaar Sivaji, Mario Romero-Ortega, Michael P. Kilgard, Robert L. Rennaker II, Seth A. Hays

What is this paper about?

It’s about the effect of cuff electrode geometry on nerve stimulation; specifically how flat electrodes (like the ReStore device) compare to the gold standard design (helical/circumferential). The end result is that they’re basically identical.

What got you interested in this topic?

I wanted to figure out what design our implant should have so that it will work as well as possible.

Why is this paper important? How does it advance the field?

This paper is extremely fundamental to the field of nerve stimulation. Cuff electrode geometry is pretty basic, but has never been investigated before. The results in this study will hopefully guide the design of cuff electrodes throughout the future.

How did you divide up all the work?

Vishnou wrote me some software to control the ReStore device. Kim made all the cuff electrodes. Andrew helped me test the electrodes on the rabbit sciatic nerve. I did everything else.

What was the most surprising result in the paper?

The most surprising result was the similarity between flat electrodes (ReStore device) and circumferential electrodes. We expected there to be at least a little bit of difference, even if it was small. But we found zero significant difference between the designs no matter what we tested.

Were there any interesting setbacks along the way? How did you handle it?

I definitely struggled a lot, but nothing specific really stands out to me. The modeling was very difficult, but I just kept reading modeling papers and playing around in the software until eventually I figured it out.

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