At the Leading Edge of Medical Technology

by Matt Hedlund / February 7, 2019

Advancements in Neuromodulation

Recent advances in neuromodulation techniques, along with improvements in implantable technologies have led to more reliable and specialized neurostimulators, which relieve the debilitating symptoms of a growing list of neurological diseases.  Neurostimulators are the tools clinicians use to treat a diverse range of ailments from chronic pain, to seizures, to overactive bladder and Parkinson’s disease.  And just as it is important for the clinician to understand how these therapies deliver relief to the patient, it is even more critical for the design engineers to understand how these devices operate and the capabilities and limitations of the technology. 

Novel Lead Interface Design

A key technology across all neurostimulation devices is the lead interface, where the implanted leads originating from the patient connect to the neurostimulator. To facilitate the design of new external pulse generators, or so-called “trial” neurostimulator units, Benchmark has developed and patented a novel lead interface design that is low cost, robust, configurable and reliable.  This design can also be leveraged for use in lead extensions or lead connectors, where two leads meet at a coupling.

Benchmark’s novel lead interface technology is unique in that instead of using fixed pads or complex leaf-springs, which require precision alignment techniques, this new technology is dynamic and unfixed. By utilizing an unfixed electrode contact, a wide variety of design constraints become achievable, including:

  • Low lead insertion force
  • Low electrode contact resistance
  • Corrosion, thermal and humidity resilience
  • Robustness during insertion and removal cycling
  • Drop & vibration resilience

Leverage Design Expertise

Depending on the device, Benchmark can adapt this technology for use in a variety of models or variants.  By leveraging the scalable design, a wide variety of configurations become possible which can lend themselves to particular applications and design criteria.  In our next installment, we will explore Benchmark’s lead interface design and the advantages it provides over conventional approaches. 


about the author

Matt Hedlund

Matt Hedlund is a Product Marketing Manager for Benchmark's Complex Industrial and Medical Technologies sectors. A Biomedical Engineer and Physiologist by training, Matt has industry experience spanning from product development to business development and marketing for both original OEM's and in EMS. Born and raised outside NYC, Matt now resides in Seattle, Washington where he enjoys gardening, kayaking, snowboarding, and hiking, all mostly in the rain.

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