Compensation Strategies for Bioelectric Signal Changes in Chronic Selective Nerve Cuff Recordings: A Simulation Study

Sensors, Vol. 21 (2021)

  • Stephen Sammut
  • Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G4, Canada
  • Ryan G. L. Koh
  • KITE, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2A2, Canada
  • José Zariffa
  • Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G4, Canada


Peripheral nerve interfaces (PNIs) allow us to extract motor, sensory, and autonomic information from the nervous system and use it as control signals in neuroprosthetic and neuromodulation applications. Recent efforts have aimed to improve the recording selectivity of PNIs, including by using spatiotemporal patterns from multi-contact nerve cuff electrodes as input to a convolutional neural network (CNN). Before such a methodology can be translated to humans, its performance in chronic implantation scenarios must be evaluated. In this simulation study, approaches were evaluated for maintaining selective recording performance in the presence of two chronic implantation challenges: the growth of encapsulation tissue and rotation of the nerve cuff electrode. Performance over time was examined in three conditions: training the CNN at baseline only, supervised re-training with explicitly labeled data at periodic intervals, and a semi-supervised self-learning approach. This study demonstrated that a selective recording algorithm trained at baseline will likely fail over time due to changes in signal characteristics resulting from the chronic challenges. Results further showed that periodically recalibrating the selective recording algorithm could maintain its performance over time, and that a self-learning approach has the potential to reduce the frequency of recalibration.

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