US 20050131486 A1
Method and system to provide therapy for obesity and gastrointestinal disorders such as FGIDs, gastroparesis, gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), pancreatitis and ileus comprises vagal blocking and/or vagal stimulation, utilizing implanted and external components. Vagal blocking may be in the afferent or efferent direction, and may be with or without selective stimulation. Blocking may be provided by one of a number of different electrical blocking techniques. The implantable components are a lead and an implantable pulse generator (IPG), comprising re-chargeable lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer battery. The external components are a programmer and an external recharger. In one embodiment, the implanted pulse generator may also comprise stimulus-receiver means, and a pulse generator means with rechargeable battery. In another embodiment, the implanted pulse generator is adapted to be rechargeable, utilizing inductive coupling with an external recharger. Existing nerve stimulators may also be adapted to be used with rechargeable power sources as disclosed herein. The implanted system comprises a lead with two or more electrodes, for vagus nerve(s) modulation with selective stimulation and/or blocking. In another embodiment, the external stimulator and/or programmer may comprise an optional telemetry unit. The addition of the telemetry unit to the external stimulator and/or programmer provides the ability to remotely interrogate and change stimulation programs over a wide area network, as well as other networking capabilities.
1. A method of providing electrical pulses with rechargeable implantable pulse generator for nerve blocking with or without selective electrical stimulation of vagus nerve(s) or its branches or part thereof for treating, controlling, or alleviating the symptoms for at least one of obesity, motility disorders, eating disorders, inducing weight loss, FGIDs, gastroparesis, gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), pancreatitis, and ileus, comprising the steps of:
providing said rechargeable implantable pulse generator, comprising a microcontroller, pulse generation circuitry, rechargeable battery, battery recharging circuitry, and a coil;
providing a lead with at least two electrodes adapted to be in contact with said nerve tissue, and in electrical contact with said rechargeable implantable pulse generator;
providing an external power source to charge said rechargeable implantable pulse generator; and
providing an external programmer to program said rechargeable implantable pulse generator.
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13. A method of providing electrical pulses with rechargeable implantable pulse generator for vagal blocking with or without selective vagal stimulation for treating or alleviating the symptoms for at least one of obesity, eating disorders, inducing weight loss, FGIDs, gastroparesis, gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), pancreatitis, and ileus, comprising the steps of:
providing an implantable rechargeable pulse generator, wherein said implantable rechargeable pulse generator comprises a stimulus-receiver means, and an implantable pulse generator means comprising a microcontroller, pulse generation circuitry, rechargeable battery, and battery recharging circuitry;
providing a lead with at least two electrodes adapted to be in contact with said vagus nerve(s) or its branches or part thereof, and in electrical contact with said implantable rechargeable pulse generator;
providing an external power source to charge rechargeable implantable pulse generator; and
providing an external programmer to program the said rechargeable implantable pulse generator.
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17. A system for providing electrical pulses with rechargeable implantable pulse generator for nerve blocking with or without selective electrical stimulation of vagus nerve(s) or its branches or part thereof for treating, controlling, or alleviating the symptoms for at least one of obesity, motility disorders, eating disorders, inducing weight loss, FGIDs, gastroparesis, gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), pancreatitis, and ileus, comprising:
a rechargeable implantable pulse generator, comprising, a microprocessor, pulse generation circuitry, rechargeable battery, battery recharging circuitry, and a coil;
a lead with at least two electrodes adapted to be in contact with said nerve tissue and in electrical contact with said implantable rechargeable pulse generator;
an external power source to charge said rechargeable implantable pulse generator; and
an external programmer to program said rechargeable implantable pulse generator.
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This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 11/035,374 filed Jan. 13, 2005, entitled “Method and system for providing electrical pulses for neuromodulation of vagus nerve(s) using rechargeable implanted pulse generator”, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/841,995 filed May 8, 2004, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/196,533 filed Jul. 16, 2002, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/142,298 filed on May 9, 2002. The prior applications being incorporated herein in entirety by reference, and priority is claimed from these applications.
This invention relates generally to providing electrical pulses for blocking/stimulation therapy for medical disorders, more specifically to neuromodulation therapy comprising vagal blocking with or without vagal stimulation, for providing therapy for obesity and other gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, utilizing rechargeable implantable pulse generator.
Obesity is a significant health problem in the United States and many other developed countries. Obesity results from excessive accumulation of fat in the body. It is caused by ingestion of greater amounts of food than can be used by the body for energy. The excess food, whether fats, carbohydrates, or proteins, is then stored almost entirely as fat in the adipose tissue, to be used later for energy. Obesity is not simply the result of gluttony and a lack of willpower. Rather, each individual inherits a set of genes that control appetite and metabolism, and a genetic tendency to gain weight that may be exacerbated by environmental conditions such as food availability, level of physical activity and individual psychology and culture. Other causes of obesity also include psychogenic, neurogenic, and other metabolic related factors.
Obesity is defined in terms of body mass index (BMI), which provides an index of the relationship between weight and height. The BMI is calculated as weight (in Kilograms) divided by height (in square meters), or as weight (in pounds) times 703 divided by height (in square inches). The primary classification of overweight and obesity relates to the BMI and the risk of mortality. The prevalence of obesity in adults in the United States without coexisting morbidity increased from 12% in 1991 to 17.9% in 1998, and is still increasing.
Treatment of obesity depends on decreasing energy input below energy expenditure. Treatment has included among other things various drugs, starvation, and even stapling or surgical resection of a portion of the stomach. Surgery for obesity has included gastroplasty and gastric bypass procedure. Gastroplasty which is also known as stomach stapling, involves constructing a 15- to 30 mL pouch along the lesser curvature of the stomach. A modification of this procedure involves the use of an adjustable band that wraps around the proximal stomach to create a small pouch. Both gastroplasty and gastric bypass procedures have a number of complications.
The vagus nerve (which is the 10th cranial nerve) plays a role in mediating afferent information from the stomach to the satiety center in the brain. The vagus nerve arises directly from the brain, but unlike the other cranial nerves extends well beyond the head. At its farthest extension it reaches the lower parts of the intestines. This is shown schematically in
In 1988 it was reported in the American Journal of Physiology, that the afferent vagal fibers from the stomach wall increased their firing rate when the stomach was filled. One way to look at this regulatory process is to imagine that the drive to eat, which may vary rather slowly with the rise and fall of hormone Leptin, is inhibited by satiety signals that occur when we eat and begin the digestive process (i.e., the prandial period). As shown schematically in
The regulation of feeding behavior involves the concentrated action of several satiety signals such as gastric distention, the release of the gastrointestinal peptide cholecystokinin (CCK), and the release of the pancreatic hormone insulin. The stomach wall is richly innervated by mechanosensory axons, and most of these ascend to the brain via the vagus nerve(s) 54. The vagus sensory axons activate neurons in the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract in the medulla of the brain. These signals inhibit feeding behavior. In a related mechanism, the peptide CCK is released in response to stimulation of the intestines by certain types of food, especially fatty ones. CCK reduces frequency of eating and size of meals. As depicted schematically in
In commonly assigned disclosures, application Ser. No. 10/079,21 now U.S. Pat. ______, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,611,715, pulsed electrical neuromodulation therapy for obesity and other medical conditions is obtained by providing electrical pulses to the vagus nerve(s) via an implanted lead comprising plurality of electrodes. In those disclosures, the electrical pulses are provided by at least one electrode on the lead. This patent application is directed to system and method for neuromodulation of vagal activity, wherein vagal block with or without selective vagal stimulation may be used to provide therapy for obesity, weight loss, eating disorders, and other gastrointestinal disorders such as FGIDs, gastroparesis, gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), pancreatitis, ileus and the like. Even though the invention is disclosed in the context of vagal blocking, the nerve blocking methodology can also be used to provide therapy for other ailments, and to provide electric pulses for blocking of other nerves such as sympathetic nerve(s), sacral nerves, or other cranial nerves or their branches or part thereof.
The gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system (CNS) engage each other in two-way communication. This has both parasympathetic and sympathetic components. Of particular interest in this disclosure is the parasympathetic component or the vagal pathway, which is shown in conjunction with
In some gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, to provide therapy, stimulation of the vagus nerve(s) is adequate and is the preferred mode of providing therapy. For other GI disorders, to provide therapy, stimulation and selective block is the preferred mode of therapy. For some GI disorders, vagal nerve(s) blocking only is the preferred mode of providing therapy. Advantageously, the method and system disclosed in this patent application can provide vagal blocking with or without vagal stimulation to provide therapy for obesity and other gastrointestinal disorders.
As is shown in conjunction with
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It will be clear to one of ordinary skill in the art, that by selectively placing the blocking electrode, selective block can be obtained when the stimulator applies blocking pulses to the blocking electrode. Selective Efferent block is depicted in conjunction with
Most nerves in the human body are composed of thousands of fibers of different sizes. This is shown schematically in
In a cross section of peripheral nerve it is seen that the diameter of individual fibers vary substantially, as is also shown schematically in
The diameters of group A and group B fibers include the thickness of the myelin sheaths. Group A is further subdivided into alpha, beta, gamma, and delta fibers in decreasing order of size. There is some overlapping of the diameters of the A, B, and C groups because physiological properties, especially in the form of the action potential, are taken into consideration when defining the groups. The smallest fibers (group C) are unmyelinated and have the slowest conduction rate, whereas the myelinated fibers of group B and group A exhibit rates of conduction that progressively increase with diameter.
Nerve cells have membranes that are composed of lipids and proteins, and have unique properties of excitability such that an adequate disturbance of the cell's resting potential can trigger a sudden change in the membrane conductance. Under resting conditions, the inside of the nerve cell is approximately −90 mV relative to the outside. The electrical signaling capabilities of neurons are based on ionic concentration gradients between the intracellular and extracellular compartments. The cell membrane is a complex of a bilayer of lipid molecules with an assortment of protein molecules embedded in it, separating these two compartments. Electrical balance is provided by concentration gradients which are maintained by a combination of selective permeability characteristics and active pumping mechanism.
A nerve cell can be excited by increasing the electrical charge within the neuron, thus increasing the membrane potential inside the nerve with respect to the surrounding extracellular fluid. The threshold stimulus intensity is the value at which the net inward current (which is largely determined by Sodium ions) is just greater than the net outward current (which is largely carried by Potassium ions), and is typically around −55 mV inside the nerve cell relative to the outside (critical firing threshold). If however, the threshold is not reached, the graded depolarization will not generate an action potential and the signal will not be propagated along the axon. This fundamental feature of the nervous system i.e., its ability to generate and conduct electrical impulses, can take the form of action potentials, which are defined as a single electrical impulse passing down an axon. This action potential (nerve impulse or spike) is an “all or nothing” phenomenon, that is to say once the threshold stimulus intensity is reached, an action potential will be generated.
To stimulate an excitable cell, it is only necessary to reduce the transmembrane potential by a critical amount. When the membrane potential is reduced by an amount ΔV, reaching the critical or threshold potential. When the threshold potential is reached, a regenerative process takes place: sodium ions enter the cell, potassium ions exit the cell, and the transmembrane potential falls to zero (depolarizes), reverses slightly, and then recovers or repolarizes to the resting membrane potential (RMP). For a stimulus to be effective in producing an excitation, it must have an abrupt onset, be intense enough, and last long enough.
Cell membranes can be reasonably well represented by a capacitance C, shunted by a resistance R as shown by an electrical model in
When the stimulation pulse is strong enough, an action potential will be generated and propagated. As shown in
A single electrical impulse passing down an axon is shown schematically in
The information in the nervous system is coded by frequency of firing rather than the size of the action potential. In terms of electrical conduction, myelinated fibers conduct faster, are typically larger, have very low stimulation thresholds, and exhibit a particular strength-duration curve or respond to a specific pulse width versus amplitude for stimulation, compared to unmyelinated fibers. The A and B fibers can be stimulated with relatively narrow pulse widths, from 50 to 200 microseconds (μs), for example. The A fiber conducts slightly faster than the B fiber and has a slightly lower threshold. The C fibers are very small, conduct electrical signals very slowly, and have high stimulation thresholds typically requiring a wider pulse width (300-1,000 μs) and a higher amplitude for activation. Because of their very slow conduction, C fibers would not be highly responsive to rapid stimulation. Selective stimulation of only A and B fibers is readily accomplished. The requirement of a larger and wider pulse to stimulate the C fibers, however, makes selective stimulation of only C fibers, to the exclusion of the A and B fibers, virtually unachievable inasmuch as the large signal will tend to activate the A and B fibers to some extent as well.
As shown in
Vagus nerve blocking and stimulation, performed by the system and method of the current patent application, is a means of directly affecting central function, as well as, peripheral function.
The vagus nerve spans from the brain stem all the way to the splenic flexure of the colon. Not only is the vagus the parasympathetic nerve to the thoracic and abdominal viscera, it also the largest visceral sensory (afferent) nerve. Sensory fibers outnumber parasympathetic fibers four to one. In the medulla, the vagal fibers are connected to the nucleus of the tractus solitarius (viceral sensory), and three other nuclei. The central projections terminate largely in the nucleus of the solitary tract, which sends fibers to various regions of the brain (e.g., the thalamus, hypothalamus and amygdala).
This application is also related to co-pending applications entitled “METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING ELECTRICAL PULSES TO GASTRIC WALL OF A PATIENT WITH RECHARGEABLE IMPLANTABLE PULSE GENERATOR FOR TREATING OR CONTROLLING OBESITY AND EATING DISORDERS” and “METHOD AND SYSTEM TO PROVIDE THERAPY FOR OBESITY AND OTHER MEDICAL DISORDERS, BY PROVIDING ELECTRICAL PULSES TO SYMPATHETIC NERVES OR VAGAL NERVE(S) WITH RECHARGEABLE IMPLANTED PULSE GENERATOR.
Prior art is generally directed to adapting cardiac pacemaker technology for nerve stimulation, where U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,263,480 (Wernicke et al.) and 5,188,104 (Wernicke et al.) are generally directed to treatment of eating disorders with vagus nerve stimulation using an implantable neurocybernetic prosthesis (NCP), which is a “cardiac pacemaker-like” device. There is no disclosure for vagal blocking.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,540,730 (Terry et al.) is generally directed to treating motility disorders with vagus nerve stimulation using an implantable neurocybernetic prosthesis (NCP), which is a “cardiac pacemaker-like” device.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,553,263B1 (Meadows et al.) is generally directed to an implantable pulse generator system for spinal cord stimulation, which includes a rechargeable battery. In the Meadows '263 patent there is no disclosure or suggestion for combing a stimulus-receiver module to an implantable pulse generator (I PG) for use with an external stimulator, for providing modulating pulses to sympathetic nerve(s), as in the applicant's disclosure.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,505,077 B1 (Kast et al.) is directed to electrical connection for external recharging coil. In the Kast '077 disclosure, a magnetic shield is required between the externalized coil and the pulse generator case. In one embodiment of the applicant's disclosure, the externalized coil is wrapped around the pulse generator case, without requiring a magnetic shield.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,600,954 B2 (Cohen et al.) is generally directed to selectively blocking propagation of body-generated action potentials particularly useful for pain control.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,684,105 B2 (Cohen et al.) is generally directed to an apparatus for unidirectional nerve stimulation.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,611,715 B1 (Boveja) is generally directed to a system and method to provide therapy for obesity and compulsive eating disorders using an implantable lead-receiver and an external stimulator.
The method and system of the current invention overcomes many shortcomings of the prior art by providing a system for neuromodulation with extended power source either in the form of rechargeable battery, or by utilizing an external stimulator in conjunction with an implanted pulse generator device, to provide therapy for obesity, motility disorders, eating disorders, inducing weight loss, FGIDs, gastroparesis, gastro-esophageal reflex disease (GERD), pancreatitis, and ileus.
Accordingly, in one aspect of the invention, electrical pulses are provided utilizing a rechargeable implantable pulse generator for nerve blocking, with or without selective electrical stimulation of vagus nerve(s) or its branches or part thereof for treating obesity and other GI disorders.
In another aspect of the invention, the electrical pulses are provided for at least one of afferent block, efferent block, or organ block.
In another aspect of the invention, the nerve blocking comprises at least one from a group consisting of: DC or anodal block, Wedenski block, and Collision block.
In another aspect of the invention, a coil used in recharging said pulse generator is around the implantable pulse generator case, and in a silicone enclosure.
In another aspect of the invention, the rechargeable implanted pulse generator comprises two feedthroughs.
In another aspect of the invention, the rechargeable implanted pulse generator comprises only one feed-through for externalizing the recharge coil.
In another aspect of the invention, the implantable rechargeable pulse generator comprises stimulus-receiver means such that, the implantable rechargeable pulse generator can function in conjunction with an external stimulator, to provide nerve blocking with or without selective electrical stimulation of vagus nerve(s) or its branches or part thereof.
In another aspect of the invention, the rechargeable battery comprises at least one of lithium-ion, lithium-ion polymer batteries.
In another aspect of the invention, the external programmer or the external stimulator comprises networking capabilities for remote communications over a wide area network for remote interrogation and/or remote programming.
In yet another aspect of the invention, the implanted lead comprises at least two electrode(s) which are made of a material selected from the group consisting of platinum, platinum/iridium alloy, platinum/iridium alloy coated with titanium nitride, and carbon.
This and other objects are provided by one or more of the embodiments described below.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in accompanying drawing forms which are presently preferred, it being understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the precise arrangement and instrumentalities shown.
To provide vagal blocking and/or vagal stimulation therapy to a patient, blocking and stimulation electrodes are implanted at the appropriate sites. In one preferred embodiment, without limitation, multiple electrodes comprising both blocking and stimulation electrodes are placed in a band. As shown in conjunction with
The electrodes may be implanted using laproscopic surgery or alternatively a surgical exposure may be made for implantation of the electrodes at the appropriate site to be stimulated and/or blocked. After placing the electrodes, the terminal portion of the lead is tunneled to a subcutaneous site where the electronics package is to be implanted. The terminal end of the lead is connected to the rechargeable implantable pulse generator. The patient is surgically closed in layers, and electrical pulse delivery can begin once the patient has fully recovered from the surgery.
In the method and system of this invention, stimulation without block may be provided. Additionally, stimulation with selective block may be provided. Furthermore, block alone (without stimulation) may be provided, which would be functionally equivalent to reversible vagotomy.
Blocking of nerve impulses, unidirectional blocking, and selective blocking of nerve impulses is well known in the scientific literature. Some of the general literature is listed below and is incorporated herein by reference. (a) “Generation of unidirectionally propagating action potentials using a monopolar electrode cuff”, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, volume 14, pp. 437-450, By Ira J. Ungar et al. (b) “An asymmetric two electrode cuff for generation of unidirectionally propagated action potentials”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, volume BME-33, No. 6, June 1986, By James D. Sweeney, et al. (c) A spiral nerve cuff electrode for peripheral nerve stimulation, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, volume 35, No. 11, November 1988, By Gregory G. Naples. et al. (d) “A nerve cuff technique for selective excitation of peripheral nerve trunk regions, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, volume 37, No. 7, July 1990, By James D. Sweeney, et al. (e) “Generation of unidirectionally propagated action potentials in a peripheral nerve by brief stimuli”, Science, volume 206 pp. 1311-1312, Dec. 14, 1979, By Van Den Honert et al. (f “A technique for collision block of perpheral nerve: Frequency dependence” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, MP-12, volume 28, pp. 379-382, 1981, By Van Den Honert et al. (g) “A nerve cuff design for the selective activation and blocking of myelinated nerve fibers” Ann. Conf. of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Soc., volume 13, No. 2, p 906, 1991, By D. M Fitzpatrick et al. (h) “Orderly recruitment of motoneurons in an acute rabbit model”, “Ann. Conf. of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Soc., volume 20, No. 5, page 2564, 1998, By N. J. M. Rijkhof, et al. (i) “Orderly stimulation of skeletal muscle motor units with tripolar nerve cuff electrode”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, volume 36, No. 8, pp. 836,1989, By R. Bratta. (j) M. Devor, “Pain Networks”, Handbook of Brand Theory and Neural Networks, Ed. M. A. Arbib, MIT Press, page 698, 1998.
Blocking can be generally divided into 3 categories: (a) DC or anodal block, (b) Wedenski Block, and (c) Collision block. In anodal block there is a steady potential which is applied to the nerve causing a reversible and selective block. In Wedenski Block the nerve is stimulated at a high rate causing the rapid depletion of the neurotransmitter. In collision blocking, unidirectional action potentials are generated anti-dromically. The maximal frequency for complete block is the reciprocal of the refractory period plus the transit time, i.e. typically less than a few hundred hertz. The use of any of these blocking techniques can be applied for the practice of this invention, and all are considered within the scope of this invention.
The parameters in Table 2 are the electrical signals delivered to the nerve tissue via the two stimulation electrodes 61,62 (or blocking electrodes) at the nerve tissue 54.
Shown in conjunction with
Because of the high energy requirements for the pulses required for blocking and/or selective stimulation of vagal nerve tissue 54, there is a real need for power sources that will provide an acceptable service life under conditions of continuous delivery of high frequency pulses.
For preferred method of the current invention, two embodiments of implantable pulse generators may be used. Both embodiments comprise re-chargeable power sources, such as Lithium-ion polymer battery.
In one embodiment of this invention, the implanted stimulator comprises a stimulus-receiver module and a pulse generator module. Advantageously, this embodiment provides an ideal power source, since the power source can be an external stimulator in conjunction with an implanted stimulus-receiver, or the power source can be from the implanted rechargable battery 740. Shown in conjunction with
In this embodiment, as disclosed in
The system provides a power sense circuit 728 that senses the presence of external power communicated with the power control 730, when adequate and stable power is available from an external source. The power control circuit controls a switch 736 that selects either implanted rechargeable battery power 740 or conditioned external power from 726. The logic and control section 732 and memory 744 includes the IPG's microcontroller, pre-programmed instructions, and stored changeable parameters. Using input for the telemetry circuit 742 and power control 730, this section controls the output circuit 734 that generates the output pulses.
Shown in conjunction with
The stimulus-receiver portion of the circuitry is shown in conjunction with
In another embodiment, existing implantable pulse generators can be modified to incorporate rechargeable batteries. As shown in conjunction with
In one embodiment, the coil may be positioned on the titanium case as shown in conjunction with
A schematic diagram of the implanted pulse generator (IPG 391R), with re-chargeable battery 694 of one preferred embodiment of this invention, is shown in conjunction with
The operating power for the IPG 391R is derived from a rechargeable power source 694. The rechargeable power source 694 comprises a rechargeable lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer battery. Recharging occurs inductively from an external charger to an implanted coil 48B underneath the skin 60. The rechargeable battery 694 may be recharged repeatedly as needed. Additionally, the IPG 391R is able to monitor and telemeter the status of its rechargeable battery 691 each time a communication link is established with the external programmer 85.
Much of the circuitry included within the IPG 391R may be realized on a single application specific integrated circuit (ASIC). This allows the overall size of the IPG 391R to be quite small, and readily housed within a suitable hermetically-sealed case. The IPG case is preferably made from titanium and is shaped in a rounded case.
Shown in conjunction with
A simplified block diagram of charge completion and misalignment detection circuitry is shown in conjunction with
The indicator 706 may similarly be used as a misalignment indicator. In normal operation, when coils 46B (external) and 48B (implanted) are properly aligned, the voltage Vs sensed by voltage detector 704 is at a minimum level because maximum energy transfer is taking place. If and when the coils 46B and 48B become misaligned, then less than a maximum energy transfer occurs, and the voltage Vs sensed by detection circuit 704 increases significantly. If the voltage Vs reaches a predetermined level, alignment indicator 706 is activated via an audible speaker and/or LEDs for visual feedback. After adjustment, when an optimum energy transfer condition is established, causing Vs to decrease below the predetermined threshold level, the alignment indicator 706 is turned off.
The elements of the external recharger are shown as a block diagram in conjunction with
As also shown in
Referring now to
Once the lead is fabricated, coating such as anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, or lubricious coating may be applied to the body of the lead.
Shown in conjunction with
The telecommunications component of this invention uses Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). WAP is a set of communication protocols standardizing Internet access for wireless devices. Previously, manufacturers used different technologies to get Internet on hand-held devices. With WAP, devices and services inter-operate. WAP promotes convergence of wireless data and the Internet. The WAP Layers are Wireless Application Environment (WAE), Wireless Session Layer (WSL), Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) and Wireless Transport Layer (WTP).
The WAP programming model, which is heavily based on the existing Internet programming model, is shown schematically in
The key components of the WAP technology, as shown in
The presently preferred embodiment utilizes WAP, because WAP has the following advantages, 1) WAP protocol uses less than one-half the number of packets that the standard HTTP or TCP/IP Internet stack uses to deliver the same content. 2) Addressing the limited resources of the terminal, the browser, and the lightweight protocol stack are designed to make small claims on CPU and ROM. 3) Binary encoding of WML and SMLScript helps keep the RAM as small as possible. And, 4) Keeping the bearer utilization low takes account of the limited battery power of the terminal.
In this embodiment two modes of communication are possible. In the first, the server initiates an upload of the actual parameters being applied to the patient, receives these from the stimulator, and stores these in its memory, accessible to the authorized user as a dedicated content driven web page. The web page is managed with adequate security and password protection. The physician or authorized user can make alterations to the actual parameters, as available on the server, and then initiate a communication session with the stimulator device to download these parameters.
The physician is also able to set up long-term schedules of stimulation therapy for their patient population, through wireless communication with the server. The server in turn communicates these programs to the neurostimulator. Each schedule is securely maintained on the server, and is editable by the physician and can get uploaded to the patient's stimulator device at a scheduled time. Thus, therapy can be customized for each individual patient. Each device issued to a patient has a unique identification key in order to guarantee secure communication between the wireless server 130 and stimulator device 42.
In this embodiment, two modes of communication are possible. In the first, the server initiates an upload of the actual parameters being applied to the patient, receives these from the stimulator, and stores these in its memory, accessible to the authorized user as a dedicated content driven web page. The physician or authorized user can make alterations to the actual parameters, as available on the server, and then initiate a communication session with the stimulator device to download these parameters.
Shown in conjunction with
The standard components of interface unit shown in block 292 are processor 305, storage 310, memory 308, transmitter/receiver 306, and a communication device such as network interface card or modem 312. In the preferred embodiment these components are embedded in the external stimulator 42 and can also be embedded in the programmer 85. These can be connected to the network 290 through appropriate security measures (Firewall) 293.
Another type of remote unit that may be accessed via central collaborative network 290 is remote computer 294. This remote computer 294 may be used by an appropriate attending physician to instruct or interact with interface unit 292, for example, instructing interface unit 292 to send instruction downloaded from central computer 286 to remote implanted unit.
Shown in conjunction with
The telemetry module 362 comprises an RF telemetry antenna 142 coupled to a telemetry transceiver and antenna driver circuit board which includes a telemetry transmitter and telemetry receiver. The telemetry transmitter and receiver are coupled to control circuitry and registers, operated under the control of microprocessor 364. Similarly, within stimulator a telemetry antenna 142 is coupled to a telemetry transceiver comprising RF telemetry transmitter and receiver circuit. This circuit is coupled to control circuitry and registers operated under the control of microcomputer circuit.
With reference to the telecommunications aspects of the invention, the communication and data exchange between Modified PDA/Phone 140 and external stimulator 42 operates on commercially available frequency bands. The 2.4-to-2.4853 GHz bands or 5.15 and 5.825 GHz, are the two unlicensed areas of the spectrum, and set aside for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) uses. Most of the technology today including this invention, use either the 2.4 or 5 GHz radio bands and spread-spectrum technology.
The telecommunications technology, especially the wireless internet technology, which this invention utilizes in one embodiment, is constantly improving and evolving at a rapid pace, due to advances in RF and chip technology as well as software development. Therefore, one of the intents of this invention is to utilize “state of the art” technology available for data communication between Modified PDA/Phone 140 and external stimulator 42. The intent of this invention is to use 3G technology for wireless communication and data exchange, even though in some cases 2.5G is being used currently.
For the system of the current invention, the use of any of the “3G” technologies for communication for the Modified PDA/Phone 140, is considered within the scope of the invention. Further, it will be evident to one of ordinary skill in the art that as future 4G systems, which will include new technologies such as improved modulation and smart antennas, can be easily incorporated into the system and method of current invention, and are also considered within the scope of the invention.