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.