In Vitro/Ex Vivo Investigation of Modified Utah Electrode Array to Selectively Sense and Pace the Sub-Surface Cardiac His Bundle

Ankur R Shah, Muhammad S Khan, Annie M Hirahara, Matthias Lange, Ravi Ranjan, Derek J Dosdall
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2020 June 8, 6 (6): 3335-3348
Utah Electrode Arrays (UEAs) have previously been characterized and implanted for neural recordings and stimulation at relatively low current levels. This proof-of-concept study investigated the applicability of UEAs in sub-surface cardiac pacing, for the first time, particularly to selectively sense and pace the His-Bundle (HB). HB pacing produces synchronous ventricular depolarization and improved cardiac function. Modified UEAs with sputtered iridium oxide film (SIROF) tips (100 - 150 μm) were characterized for SIROF delamination using an electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and voltage transient (VT) techniques at various current levels of up to 8 mA for a biphasic pulse with 1 ms duration per phase at 4 Hz. Our results indicate that at a short pacing duration of 20 s with current levels of up to 4 mA, the SIROF exhibited a strong charge-transfer performance. For the longer pacing duration (6 min), SIROF demonstrated its holding capacity at all current levels except for ≥2 mA when delamination commenced for the time exceeded 4 min (EIS) and 2 min (VT). UEAs were inserted in isolated, perfused goat hearts to record the HB electrograms in real-time. Both stimulated and unstimulated electrodes were characterized for SIROF delamination before, during and after in vivo work. Our findings indicate that UEA was stable during the heart's contraction and relaxation phase. Further, at a short pacing duration with current levels of up to 4 mA, UEA demonstrated high selectively in sensing the HB. This proof-of-concept work demonstrates the potential applicability of UEAs in cardiac applications.

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