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 Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>