Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Distance detection improves effect of spinal cord stimulation

20.02.2003


The effect of spinal cord stimulation, in chronic pain treatment, can be drastically improved using continuous distance detection. The strength of the stimulation pulses then depends on the distance measured between the electrodes and the spinal cord. In this way, negative side-effects belong to the past. These side-effects arise with a varying distance, causing diminished pain treatment in case of a distance that is too large, or unwanted sensations when the distance is too small. Emiel Dijkstra of the University of Twente developed a distance detection system. He finishes his PhD-research with the MESA+ research institute on February 27.



Spinal cord stimulation is effective in treatment of chronic pain. An electrode-array is implanted, sending short pulses to the spinal cord. This artificial nerve stimulation blocks certain pain signals. The electrodes have a fixed position, however, this means that the distance varies with movements of the patient. By measuring this distance along with the stimulation, the pulses can be adjusted continuously.

From MRI-scans, Dijkstra concludes that the distance can vary up to several millimeters. This has a direct effect on the signal reaching the spinal cord. With maximum distance, the signal can be too weak to have an effect. With minimum distance, the effect can be that the patient feels the pulses themselves, this is unpleasant as well. Using ultrasound, Dijkstra is now able to detect the distance. He therefore places a piezo-electric transducer on the electro-array.


This transducer has to face strict demands. It has to be able to distinguish between the spinal cord and the surrounding fluid, while the acoustic difference between them is small. Secondly, it has to be integrated along with the implantable electrodes. Its size therefore may not exceed 25 square millimetres, with a thickness of not more than two millimetres. And it has to be highly biocompatible: the human body has to accept this ‘intruder’.

In addition to these demands, the energy consumption must be close to zero. The electrode array is fed from outside the body, using radio signals, or a complete stimulation system is implanted in the abdomen region. In both cases, the distance detector may not consume substantial electric power.

Electric eals
The combination of electrodes, distance detection and control electronics provides a more comfortable and precise way of pain treatment. While in ancient Rome, already electric eals were used to treat pain, Dijkstra’s method is more friendly for the patient.

Emiel Dijkstra MscEE has performed his research under supervision of prof. Piet Bergveld within the MESA+ Institute of the University of Twente, and he was financially supported by Medtronic Inc., manufacturer of spinal cord stimulation electrodes.

Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.mesaplus.utwente.nl/mutas/bios/
http://www.utwente.nl/nieuws/pers/cont_03-012.doc/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>