Direct current (DC) nerve block has been shown to provide a complete block of nerve conduction without unwanted neural firing. Previous work shows that high capacitance electrodes can be used to safely deliver a DC block. Another way of delivering DC safely is through a separated interface nerve electrode (SINE), such that any reactive species that are generated by the passage of DC are contained in a vessel away from the nerve. This design has been enhanced by using a high capacitance carbon “slurry” as the electrode in the external vessel to extend the capacity of the electrode (CSINE). With this new design, it was possible to provide 50 min of continuous nerve block without recharge while still maintaining complete recovery of neural signals. Up to 46 C of charge delivery was applied for a total of 4 h of nerve block with complete recovery. Because of the extended delivery time, it was possible to explore several properties of DC block that would not be revealed without the capability of a long-duration continuous block. It was possible to achieve complete block at lower values of DC if the block was applied for a longer period of time. Depending on the amount of charge applied during the block, the recovery was delayed for a period of time before complete force recovery was restored. These new properties provide novel techniques for device development to optimize charge delivery time and device powering concerns.
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