Nerve cuff electrodes are a principle tool of basic and applied electro-neurophysiology studies and are championed for their ability to achieve good nerve recruitment with low thresholds. We describe the design and method of fabrication for a novel circumpolar peripheral nerve electrode for acute experimental use. This cylindrical cuff-style electrode provides approximately 270° of radial electrode contact with a nerve for each of an arbitrary number of contacts, has a profile that allows for simple placement and removal in an acute nerve preparation, and is designed for adjustment of the cylindrical diameter to ensure a close fit on the nerve. For each electrode, the electrical contacts were cut from 25 μm platinum foil as an array so as to maintain their positions relative to each other within the cuff. Lead wires were welded to each intended contact. The structure was then molded in silicone elastomer, after which the individual contacts were electrically isolated. The final electrode was curved into a cylindrical shape with an inner diameter corresponding to that of the intended target nerve. The positions of these contacts were well maintained during the molding and shaping process and failure rates during fabrication due to contact displacements were very low. Established electrochemical measurements were made on one electrode to confirm expected behavior for a platinum electrode and to measure the electrode impedance to applied voltages at different frequencies. These electrodes have been successfully used for nerve stimulation, recording, and conduction block in a number of different acute animal experiments by several investigators.
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