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Proceedings Paper

Optical stimulation of the facial nerve: a surgical tool?
Author(s): Claus-Peter Richter; Ingo Ulrik Teudt; Adam E. Nevel; Agnella D. Izzo; Joseph T. Walsh
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Paper Abstract

One sequela of skull base surgery is the iatrogenic damage to cranial nerves. Devices that stimulate nerves with electric current can assist in the nerve identification. Contemporary devices have two main limitations: (1) the physical contact of the stimulating electrode and (2) the spread of the current through the tissue. In contrast to electrical stimulation, pulsed infrared optical radiation can be used to safely and selectively stimulate neural tissue. Stimulation and screening of the nerve is possible without making physical contact. The gerbil facial nerve was irradiated with 250-μs-long pulses of 2.12 μm radiation delivered via a 600-μm-diameter optical fiber at a repetition rate of 2 Hz. Muscle action potentials were recorded with intradermal electrodes. Nerve samples were examined for possible tissue damage. Eight facial nerves were stimulated with radiant exposures between 0.71-1.77 J/cm2, resulting in compound muscle action potentials (CmAPs) that were simultaneously measured at the m. orbicularis oculi, m. levator nasolabialis, and m. orbicularis oris. Resulting CmAP amplitudes were 0.3-0.4 mV, 0.15-1.4 mV and 0.3-2.3 mV, respectively, depending on the radial location of the optical fiber and the radiant exposure. Individual nerve branches were also stimulated, resulting in CmAP amplitudes between 0.2 and 1.6 mV. Histology revealed tissue damage at radiant exposures of 2.2 J/cm2, but no apparent damage at radiant exposures of 2.0 J/cm2.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6842, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IV, 68421U (26 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.768124
Show Author Affiliations
Claus-Peter Richter, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
The Hugh Knowles Ctr., Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Ingo Ulrik Teudt, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Univ. Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany)
Adam E. Nevel, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Agnella D. Izzo, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Joseph T. Walsh, Northwestern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6842:
Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IV
Kenton W. Gregory; Guillermo J. Tearney; Reza S. Malek; Nikiforos Kollias; Bernard Choi; Haishan Zeng; Brian Jet-Fei Wong; Justus F. R. Ilgner; Henry Hirschberg; Steen J. Madsen, Editor(s)

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