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Epidural Array Sheath And Positioner

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009893D
Publication Date: 2002-Sep-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Advanced Bionics Corporation: OWNER

Abstract

A sheath and positioner for use with an electrode array, which sheath steers electrical fields used to stimulate nerve tissue toward targeted nerve tissue, and which positioner positions the electrode array closer to the targeted nerve tissue. The sheath accepts the electrode array, and at least one window is provided to partially expose individual electrodes of the electrode array. The positioner resides opposite the window. In a preferred embodiment, the electrode array is an epidural array, and the sheath focuses the stimulation on the spinal cord while the positioner positions the electrodes against the spinal cord.

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Epidural Array Sheath And Positioner

A sheath and positioner for use with an electrode array, which sheath steers electrical fields used to stimulate nerve tissue toward targeted nerve tissue, and which positioner positions the electrode array closer to the targeted nerve tissue. The sheath accepts the electrode array, and at least one window is provided to partially expose individual electrodes of the electrode array.  The positioner resides opposite the window.  In a preferred embodiment, the electrode array is an epidural array, and the sheath focuses the stimulation on the spinal cord while the positioner positions the electrodes against the spinal cord.

Epidural Array Sheath And Positioner

Background

Spinal cord stimulation is a well accepted clinical method for reducing pain in certain populations of patients.  SCS systems typically include an Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG), electrodes, electrode lead, and electrode lead extension.  The IPG generates electrical pulses that are delivered to the dorsal column fibers within the spinal cord through the electrodes. The electrodes are implanted along the dura of the spinal cord.  Individual electrode contacts (the “electrodes”) may be arranged in a desired pattern and spacing in order to create an electrode array.  Individual wires, or electrode leads, connect with each electrode in the array.  The electrode leads exit the spinal cord and attach to one or more electrode lead extensions.  The electrode lead extension, in turn, is typically tunneled around the torso of the patient to a subcutaneous pocket where the IPG is implanted. 

SCS and other stimulation systems are known in the art.  For example, a known implantable electronic stimulator provides timed sequenced electrical impulses to a plurality of electrodes.  Another example is an electrode implant for neuro-stimulation of the spinal cord.  A relatively thin and flexible strip of biocompatible material is provided as a carrier on which a plurality of electrodes are formed.  The electrodes are connected by a conductor, e.g., a lead body, to an RF receiver, which is also implanted, and which is controlled by an external controller.

Another type of electrical spinal cord stimulation device has five aligned electrodes which are positioned longitudinally on the spinal cord.  Current pulses applied to the electrodes block sensed intractable pain, while allowing passage of other sensations.  The stimulation pulses applied to the electrodes have a repetition rate of from 5 to 200 pulses per second.  A patient operated switch allows the patient to change which electrodes are activated, i.e., which electrodes receive the stimulation pulses, so that the area between the activated electrodes on the spinal cord can be adjusted, as required, to better block the pain.                             

Most of the electrode arrays used with known SCS systems employ  between 4 and 16 electrodes. One form of electrode array is a lamitrode. A lamitrode is...