NeuRx Diaphragmatic Pacing System (DPS)

The Diaphragm Pacing System (DPS) is a medical device that has the potential to provide part-time or full-time respiratory support to persons who are unable to breathe on their own and use a mechanical ventilator.

Mechanical ventilation is associated with functional limitations, such as decreased mobility and difficulty speaking, as well as inherent complications, including infection, tracheal injury and equipment malfunction.

DPS requires implantation of electrodes, via laparoscopic surgery, to stimulate the phrenic nerve – the motor innervation to the diaphragm, which is responsible for the act of breathing.

The diaphragm pacing device is a unit – about the size of a large remote control – that is worn externally by the patient and connected to wires that exit the chest. The implanted electrodes act as a pacing device, causing the diaphragm to contract, just as it would in people with normal connections between the brain and muscles.

The hope is that this implantable system can provide part-time or full-time respiratory support to persons who normally need a mechanical ventilator.

Benefits to the Patient

  • Improved speech, mobility and more normal breathing
  • Increased olfactory sensation
  • Greater social interaction
  • Expanded participation in rehabilitation activities
  • Improved occupational opportunities

More Information

Spanish-translated version of this web page available here.

For more information about the Diaphragm Pacing System (DPS), contact Shelley Mitchell at 404-783-8353 or email her at

Site Map

About Shepherd Center

Patient Programs