Neurostimulation Electrode Lead with Electrically Conductive Adhesive Connection Between Conductor and Electrode
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-16
The IP.com Prior Art Database
An electrode lead includes a conductive adhesive forming electrical connections between conductors and electrodes. Insulation is stripped from individual wires to expose the conductor corresponding to the electrode. The volume between the exposed conductor and an adjacent electrode surface is filled with the conductive adhesive. The extent of the conductive adhesive is limited to prevent a direct electrical connection with tissue surrounding the electrode lead, and to prevent consecutive electrodes from being electrically connected by the conductive adhesive. Further, the conductive adhesive may similarly be used to make an electrical connection between the conductors and contacts of an in-line connector.
Background and Summary
The present invention relates to implantable stimulation systems and more particularly to an electrode lead for use within a Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) system. A spinal cord stimulation system treats chronic pain by providing electrical stimulation pulses through the electrodes of an electrode array placed epidurally near a patient’s spinal cord.
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), an electrode lead, and an electrode lead extension connecting the IPG to the electrode lead. The IPG generates electrical pulses that are delivered to the dorsal column fibers within the spinal cord through electrodes residing on the distal end of the electrode lead. The electrodes are implanted along the dura of the spinal cord and are arranged in a desired pattern and spacing in order to create an electrode array. Individual conductors residing within the electrode lead connect with each electrode. The electrode lead exits the spinal cord and attaches 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.
Spinal cord and other stimulation systems are known in the art. For example, an implantable electronic stimulator is disclosed in United States Patent No. 3,646,940 that provides timed sequenced electrical impulses to a plurality of electrodes. As another example, United States Patent No. 3,724,467 teaches 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 pluralities 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.
In United States Patent No. 3,822,708, another type of electrical spinal cord stimulation device is taught. The device disclosed in the ‘708 patent 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 current stimulus, so that the area between the activated electrodes on the spinal cord can be adjusted, as required, to better block the pain.
Known electrode arrays used with known SCS systems employ betwe...