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ELECTROTRODE DESIGN TO STIMULATE BLOOD VESSELS, NERVES, OR OTHER TUBULAR ORGANS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010247D
Publication Date: 2002-Nov-13

Publishing Venue

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Abstract

The present work relates to an electrode designed for use during surgery for the electro-stimulation of blood vessels, nerves or any other tubular organ.

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ELECTROTRODE DESIGN TO STIMULATE BLOOD VESSELS,

NERVES, OR OTHER TUBULAR ORGANS 

Abstract of the Work

                    The present work relates to an electrode designed for use during surgery for the electro-stimulation of blood vessels, nerves or any other tubular organ.          

Background of the Work

                    The present work relates to an electrode designed for use during surgery for the electro-stimulation of blood vessels, nerves, or any other tubular organ.

                    The present work relates to an electrode assembly that can be used during surgery in a human or animal body to electrically stimulate a tubular organ such as a blood vessel or nerve.  Typically, the electrodes are connected by lead wires to pulse or power generator to provide the electrical current to the electrode assembly.

It has been known for almost 200 years that muscle contraction can be controlled by applying an electrical stimulus to the associated nerve.  Nerve stimulation has been used to regain muscle control in injured limbs, to control bladder and sphincter function, to alleviate pain and hypertension, and to restore proper function to many other portions of an impaired or injured nerve muscle system.

                    Numerous electrode designs are known in the art, but these are not well suited for delivery of electrical stimulation of tubular shaped organs during surgery.  Most often electrodes are designed to be used in conjunction with the stimulation of non-tubular type organs, e.g., stimulation of heart tissue with a heart pacemaker.  In this situation electrical leads are used to deliver electrical pacing to the heart.  Epicardial and endocardial leads generally have been designed such that the electrodes that can be stabbed-in, screwed-in, or sutured-on to the heart.  Both epicardial and endocardial electrodes may additionally contain various types of hooks or barbs to hold the electrode in place.  Because of the design of heart electrodes they are not well suited for use to stimulate areas along tubular organs, in part because they are held in place by sinking the electrode into the tissue.  Some tubular organs, such as blood vessels and nerves, are more fragile in nature and not well suited for embedded electrodes.  Embedding the electrode into tubular organs would either result in significant injury to the organ thatr would cause any one of a number of unwanted consequences.  As used herein, tubular organs relate to organs having rod or tubular shape, such as, but limited to nerves, blood vessels, ureters, fallopian tubers, vas deferens, bile ducts, large intestine and small intestine (larger electrode design), tendons, and ligaments.

                    To solve part of the problem of fixing an electrode around nerve tissue, U.S. Pat. No. 4,573,481, US Pat. No. 4,920,979 and US Pat. No. 5,154,172 describe implantable helical electrode assemblies in which the electrodes are designed as one or more flexible ribbons tha...