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Tissue Embedded Device for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245595D
Publication Date: 2016-Mar-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method to use muscle and/or nerve stimulation to prevent airway narrowing or obstruction during sleep, overcoming obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

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Tissue Embedded Device for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which an individual's upper airways collapse during sleep, which causes obstruction to the normal airflow of breathing , resulting in hypoxia, hypercarbia and impaired sleep quality. Airway obstruction is mainly caused by decreased tone of muscles in the pharynx and in the tongue base (genioglossus). The disease manifests as snoring and daytime sleepiness associated

with impaired performance (e.g., doubled chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident), but can eventually lead to systemic hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, and right heart failure.

Multiple methods of treatment are available. Weight loss is one approach, although adherence is often limited. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment that maintains airway pressure by connecting the patient to a machine that delivers pressure to the patient's airways using a mask covering the nose, the mouth, or both.

Adherence to this is also limited. Oral appliances work by causing forward movement of the mandible. These are helpful in some patients. Another option is invasive surgery. Several procedures are available, one of the most common being Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, in which the uvula, the soft tissue behind the tongue, and the palatine tonsillar tissues are resected. However, this procedure results in cure of only a minority of patients. Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation is a procedure in which a subcutaneous generator is implanted and connected through an electrode to the hypoglossal nerve that innervates the tongue. This is also invasive and requires a pulse generator to be implanted on the chest where it is visible, and requires neck dissection to identify and connect an electrode to the hypoglossal nerve .

An alternative method is needed for treating obstructive sleep apnea .

The novel contribution is a system and method to use muscle and /or nerve stimulation to prevent airway narrowing or obstruction during sleep. The method uses one or more miniature nerve or muscle stimulators embedded in or attached to tissues of the pharynx area (including the tongue, tongue base, nasopharynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx) that can prevent the state of reduced muscle tone associated with sleep ,

which leads to airway compromise. The method...