Vrabec, Tina, PhD

Vrabec-01-FESResearch Statement

My background in both research and industry makes me distinct as an Investigator at the Cleveland FES Center.  My industrial experience in project development enables me to approach the scientific issues with the vision necessary to propel the ideas from the bench to clinical deployment. I have consistently generated intellectual property throughout my career both in industry and academia, which further supports a future commercial deployment of this technology.

My research focuses on developing electrode and waveforms for electrical nerve block for a wide variety of applications, including motor block, pain block, and cardiac arrhythmia mitigation.  My collaboration with UCLA demonstrates my ability to interface and coordinate with multi-disciplinary academic teams.  These experiments have provided the groundwork for the deployment of direct current nerve block for the control of cardiac function which represents a novel and exciting area for the use of nerve block technology. Recently, I have collaborating with Avanos Medical investigating direct current nerve block for pain management.

Professional Affiliations

  • Investigator, Cleveland FES Center
  • Assistant Research Faculty, MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Biomedical Engineer, Case Western Reserve University



  • Roldan, LM, Eggers, T, Kilgore, K, Bhadra, N, Vrabec,T, Bhadra, N. (2019) “Measurement of block thresholds in kilohertz frequency alternating current peripheral nerve block”  Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 315(1): p 48-54
  • Van Acker, G. M. Vrabec, T, Bhadra, N, Chae, J, Kilgore, KL.Bhadra, N. (2018) “Block of motor nerve conduction via transcutaneous application of direct current” Bioelectronics in Medicine, 1(2): p. 107-116.
  • Bhadra, N., Vrabec, T., Bhadra, N., Kilgore, K. (2018) “Reversible Conduction Block in Peripheral Nerves Using Electrical Waveforms” Bioelectronics in Medicine, 1(1): p 39-54
  • Bhadra, N., Foldes, E., Vrabec, T., Kilgore, K., Bhadra, N. (2018) “Temporary persistence of conduction block after prolonged kilohertz frequency alternating current on rat sciatic nerve” Journal of Neural Engineering, 15(1):016012 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Chui, R. W., Buckley, U., Rajendran, P. S., Vrabec, T., Shivkumar, K., Ardell, J. L. (2017) “Bioelectronic block of paravertebral sympathetic nerves mitigates post-myocardial infarction ventricular arrhythmias” Heart Rhythm, 14(11), p 1665-1672.
  • Buckley, U., Chui, R. W., Rajendran, P. S., Vrabec, T., Shivkumar, K., Ardell, J. L. (2017) “Bioelectronic neuromodulation of the paravertebral cardiac efferent sympathetic outflow and its effect on ventricular electrical indices” Heart Rhythm, 14 (7): p 1063-1070.
  • Vrabec TL, Bhadra N, Van Acker G, Bhadra N, Kilgore KL.  (2016) “Continuous Direct Current Nerve Block Using Multi Contact High Capacitance Electrodes”.   IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Vrabec TL, Bhadra N, Wainright JS, Bhadra N, Franke M, Kilgore KL. (2016) “Characterization of high capacitance electrodes for the application of direct current electrical nerve block”.  Med & Biol Eng & Comput, Jan;54(1):191-203.
  • Franke M, Vrabec T, Wainright J, Bhadra N, Bhadra N, Kilgore KL.  “Combined KHFAC+DC nerve block without onset or reduced nerve conductivity after block.”  J Neural Engineering, 11(5):056012, (2014).
  • Lothet EH, Kilgore KL, Bhadra N, Bhadra N, Vrabec T, Wang YT, Jansen ED, Jenkins MW, Chiel HJ.  “Alternating current and infrared (ACIR) produce an onset-free reversible nerve block.”  Neurophoton., 1(1), 011010 (2014). doi:10.1117/1.NPh.1.1.011010.
  • Wang, Y., S. Toprani, Y. Tang, T. Vrabec and D. M. Durand. “Mechanism of highly synchronized bilateral hippocampal activity.” Exp Neurol 251: 101-111,(2014)
  • Buckett J, Triolo R, Ferencz D, Katorgi M, Bieri C, Weisgarber J, Vrabec T, Johnson D  “A wearable controller for clinical studies involving multi-implant FNS systems” J
  • Spinal Cord Med 21;2;179, (1998)
  • Trier S; Vrabec, T; Weisgarber, J, “Using functional electrical stimulation to restore movement to individuals with neuromuscular disabilities”, MATLAB Digest: Academic Edition. Vol 2(1) (2008)
  • Vrabec, T; Wainright, J; Bhadra, N; Bhadra, N; Kilgore, K; “Use of high surface area electrodes for safe delivery of direct current for nerve conduction block” ECS Transactions 50(28) pgs 31-37 The Electrochemical Society (2013)
  • Vrabec, T. L., N. Bhadra, J. S. Wainright, N. Bhadra and K. L. Kilgore (2013). “A Novel Waveform for No-Onset Nerve Block Combining Direct Current and Kilohertz Frequency Alternating Current.” 6th International IEEE/EBMS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER): 283-286.(2013)
  • Trier, SC; Vrabec, TL; Weisgarber, JA; Hart, RL; ” A rapid prototyping environment for neuroprotheses “, Neural Engineering, 2005. Conference Proceedings. 2nd International IEEE EMBS, pgs 400-402 (2005)
  • Trier, S; Buckett, J; Campean, A; Miller, M; Montague, F; Vrabec, T; Weisgarber, J, “A modular external control unit for functional electrical stimulation” Proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society, pgs 16-20 (2001)

Book Chapters

  • Bhadra N, Vrabec T “Electrodes for electrical conduction block of the peripheral nerve” Implantable Biomedical Microsystems Elsevier Inc (2015) p215-229

Active Research Grants

“Safety Evaluation of Nerve Blocking via Transcutaneous Delivery of Direct Current Waveforms ”
Principal Investigator:  Tina Vrabec, PhD
Agency: Halyard Health, Industry
Type:  Sponsored Research Agreement         Period: 9/1/2018-3/31/2019
Role:  Principal Investigator

“Evaluation of Percutaneous Electrodes for Direct Current Nerve Block”
Principal Investigator:  Tina Vrabec, PhD
Agency:  Coulter Foundation
Type:  Grant                                        Period:  9/1/2017 – 1/31/2019
Role: Principal Investigator

“Kilohertz Frequency Alternating Current Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain Relief”
Principal Investigator:  Kevin L. Kilgore, PhD
Agency:  NIH-NINDS
Type:  R01-NS-089530                                   Period:  9/1/2015 –6/30/2019
Role:  Co-investigator

“Combined No Onset Waveform for KiloHertz Frequency Alternating Current Nerve Block”
Principal Investigator:  Niloy Bhadra, PhD
Agency:  NIH-NIBI
Type:  R01-EB-024860                                   Period:  8/1/2017 –4/30/2021
Role:  Co-investigator



Contact Information:

Contact Name: Tina Vrabec
Contact Number: (216) 368-6544
Contact Email: tina.vrabec@case.edu