Spatial steering of deep brain stimulation volumes using a novel lead design

H. C.F. Martens, E. Toader, M. M.J. Decré, D. J. Anderson, R. Vetter, D. R. Kipke, K. B. Baker, M. D. Johnson, J. L. Vitek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate steering the volume of activated tissue (VTA) with deep brain stimulation (DBS) using a novel high spatial-resolution lead design. Methods: We examined the effect of asymmetric current-injection across the DBS-array on the VTA. These predictions were then evaluated acutely in a non-human primate implanted with the DBS-array, using motor side-effect thresholds as the metric for estimating VTA asymmetries. Results: Simulations show the DBS-array, with electrodes arranged together in a cylindrical configuration, can generate field distributions equivalent to commercial DBS leads, and these field distributions can be modulated using field-steering methods. Stimulation with implanted DBS-arrays showed directionally-selective muscle activation, presumably through spread of stimulation fields into portions of the corticospinal tract lying in the internal capsule. Conclusions: Our computational and experimental studies demonstrate that the DBS-array is capable of spatially selective stimulation. Displacing VTAs away from the lead's axis can be achieved using a single simple and intuitive control parameter. Significance: Optimal DBS likely requires non-uniform VTAs that may differentially affect a nucleus or fiber pathway. The DBS-array allows positioning VTAs with sub-millimeter precision, which is especially relevant for those patients with DBS leads placed in sub-optimal locations. This may present clinicians with an additional degree of freedom to optimize the DBS therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-566
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Activating function
  • Computational model
  • DBS
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Electrode design
  • Finite element method
  • In vivo
  • Lead design
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neural engineering
  • Neurostimulation


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