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Stimulation Leads with Radial and Longitudinal Steerability

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010695D
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-09
Document File: 4 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Advanced Bionics Corp.: OWNER

Abstract

Implantable leads with multiple electrodes distributed along the lead length allow radial and longitudinal steering of stimulation fields. Embodiments of the present invention include employing an even number of electrodes, divided evenly and disposed in offset “ring collections” along the axial length of the array and configurations of electrodes that are not necessarily evenly divided or disposed in “ring” collections. The electrodes can be individually programmed in various configurations to steer the field radially around the array as well as longitudinally along the array. Use of many electrodes that are independent allows the electric field to be very wide (e.g., using multiple grouped cathodes and anodes) or very narrow (e.g., using single, even adjacent, electrodes for one cathode and one anode). The electrode array design may even be used to mimic present banded electrode designs while still allowing the more focal stimulation created by pairing individual electrodes. Such “steering” capability allows the electric field to be located more precisely to the targeted neurons, while minimizing the thresholds needed to capture the desired neural targets and minimizing unwanted stimulation. Also, if the lead happens to rotate and/or migrate, the electric field can be reprogrammed without having to physically manipulate the lead.

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Stimulation Leads with Radial and Longitudinal Steerability

Background and Summary

In neural stimulation applications, such as Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), it is known to have a cylindrical, isodiametric lead.� Electrodes on these leads are also often cylindrical.� The present invention improves on these known designs.

This invention teaches implantable leads with multiple electrodes distributed along the axial length.� Some embodiments of the present invention employ an even number of electrodes, divided evenly and disposed in offset Aring collections@ along the axial length of the array.� Other embodiments include configurations of electrodes that are not necessarily evenly divided or disposed in Aring@ collections.

Detailed Description

In neural stimulation applications, such as Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), it is known to have a cylindrical, isodiametric lead.� The electrodes on these leads are also often cylindrical.� This typically implies that delivered current or voltage is directed radially outwardly, in a 360 degree, non-radially-selective fashion.� However, the target neurons are often located only to one side of the electrode array.� This can cause wasted current (wasted due to being directed away from the neural targets), higher thresholds, and undesired >capture= of neurons which are not targets of the stimulation.� Earlier solutions to this problem involve locating the electrodes preferentially to one side of the array.� However, lead migration and/or rotation can make such designs ineffective.

The present invention teaches implantable leads with multiple electrodes distributed along the axial length.� Some embodiments of the present invention employ an even number of electrodes, divided evenly and disposed in offset Aring collections@ along the axial length of the array.� Other embodiments include configurations of electrodes that are not necessarily evenly divided or disposed in Aring@ collections.

As a result of these configurations, the electrodes can be individually programmed in various configurations to steer the field radially around the array as well as longitudinally along the array.� Use of many electrodes that are independent allows the electric field to be very wide (e.g., using multiple grouped cathodes and anodes) or very narrow (e.g., using single, even adjacent, electrodes for one cathode and one anode).� The electrode array design may even be used to mimic present banded electrode designs while still allowing the more focal stimulation created by pairing individual electrodes.� Such Asteering@ capability allows the electric field to be located more precisely to the targeted neurons, while minimizing the thresholds needed to capture the desired neural targets and minimizing unwanted stimulation.� Also, if the lead happens to rotate and/or migrate, the electric field can be reprogrammed without having to physically manipulate the lead.

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