Skip to main content

An implantable nerve cooler for the exercising dog


An implantable nerve cooler has been constructed to block cervical vago-sympathetic activity in the exercising dog reversibly. An insulated gilt brass container implanted around the nerve is perfused with cooled alcohol via silicone tubes. The flow of alcohol is controlled by an electromagnetic valve to keep nerve temperature at the required value. Nerve temperature is measured by a thermistor attached to the housing and in contact with the nerve. It is shown that, during cooling, temperature at this location differs less than 2‡ C from nerve core temperature. Measurement of changes in heart rate revealed that complete vagal block in the conscious animal is obtained at a nerve temperature of 2‡ C and can be achieved within 50 s. During steady-state cooling in the exercising animal nerve temperature varied less than 0.5‡ C. When the coolers after 2 weeks of implantation were removed they showed no oxydation and could be used again.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Bishop VS, Peterson DF (1978) The circulatory influences of vagal afferents at rest and during coronary occlusion in conscious dogs. Circ Res 43: 840–847

    Google Scholar 

  • Douglas WW, Malcolm JL (1955) The effect of localized cooling on conduction in cat nerves. J Physiol 130: 53–71

    Google Scholar 

  • Fishman NH, Phillipson EA, Nadel JA (1973) Effect of differential vagal cold blockade on breathing pattern in conscious dogs. J Appl Physiol 34: 754–758

    Google Scholar 

  • Franz DN, Iggo A (1968) Conduction failure in myelinated and non-myelinated axons at low temperatures. J Physiol 199: 319–345

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayward JN, Ott LH, Stuart DG, Cheshire FC (1965) Peltier biothermodes. Am J Med Electron 4: 11–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Paintal AS (1965) Block of conduction in mammalian myelinated nerve fibres by low temperatures. J Physiol 180: 1–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Roberts JN, Blackburn JG (1975) Cold block of peripherial nerve fiber activity using a Peltier biothermode. J Electrophysiol Techniques (JEPT) 4: 40–43

    Google Scholar 

  • Stone HL, Bishop VS (1968) Ventricular output in conscious dogs following acute vagal blockade. J Appl Physiol 24: 782–786

    Google Scholar 

  • Wagner JA, Horvath SM, Dahms TE (1977) Cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic adjustments to exercise in dogs. J Appl Physiol 42: 403–407

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Borgdorff, P., Versteeg, P.G.A. An implantable nerve cooler for the exercising dog. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 53, 175–179 (1984).

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words

  • Nerve cooling
  • Vagus nerve blockade
  • Exercise
  • Nerve temperature
  • Implantation