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Publication Date: 2010-Jul-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

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The Prior Art Database

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            There is an ongoing desire to provide implantable medical leads that have an increased number of electrodes.  In some situations, having a greater number of electrodes provides a medical professional with more options for selecting particular electrodes that are, for example, best positioned for optimal capture.  In many leads, each electrode is electrically connected to a dedicated wire.  Thus, as the number of electrodes increase, however, the number of wires needed within the lead also increases.  In some instances, the lead diameter may become undesirably large.  In some instances, the large lead diameter requires a correspondingly large header connection on an implantable electrical device such as a pulse generator.  Moreover, if an electrode does not make adequate tissue contact, the corresponding wire is no longer used.  If the wire breaks or otherwise fails, the corresponding electrode is no longer usable.

            As a possible solution to these issues, a multiple electrode lead may be designed having a number of wires extending through the lead and a greater number of electrodes disposed on the lead.  In some instances, two or more distinct electrodes may be switchably connected to a single wire.  In some instances, each electrode may include a small integrated circuit or other switching device that enables the pulse generator to select which electrode is to be electrically connected to which wire.  As a result, a relatively small number of wires may be used to switchably connect to a relatively larger number of electrodes, thereby providing improved flexibility in selecting electrodes without requiring an unwieldy or otherwise undesirable lead diameter.