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Development of Surrogate Spinal Cords for the Evaluation of Electrode Arrays Used in Intraspinal Implants Open Access


Other title
Silicone Elastomer
Intraspinal Microstimulations
Mechanical testing
Surrogate spinal cord
Spinal cord injury
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Elias, Anastasia (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Elias, Anastasia (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Moussa, Walied (Mechanical Engineering)
Nychka, John (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
A surrogate spinal cord was developed to test the mechanical stability of electrode arrays for intraspinal implants. The mechanical and surface properties of candidate materials were tested. The elastic modulus was characterized using dynamic mechanical analysis. Forces required to indent the surrogate cords to specified depths was measured. Frictional forces were measured by pulling a needle out at a controlled rate. The results were compared to actual spinal cords, either to value from literature or ex vivo measurements. Surrogate cords with the most suitable properties (formaldehyde crosslinked gelatin, 12 wt% in water) were implanted with two types of intraspinal electrode arrays (one made of individual microwires and another of microwires anchored with a solid base), and an elongation was applied. Arrays with solid bases impeded the deformation of the cord suggesting that they could cause tissue damage in vivo, while arrays without a base moved freely with the cord.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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