Ultrasonic distance detection in spinal cord stimulation

Emiel Arjen Dijkstra

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    40 Downloads (Pure)


    Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a clinical method for primarily the management
    of chronic, intractable pain. The method is based on electrical stimulation of
    nerve fibers in the posterior part of the spinal cord. An electric field is applied by
    an electrode array, implanted medially in the posterior epidural space, at some
    distance from the spinal cord. An implantable pulse generator provides the electrical
    stimulation pulses to the electrode array via a cable. When stimulating the
    spinal cord with pulses of constant amplitude, the current density in the spinal
    cord and thus the effects on nerve fibers will change with body position and/or
    posture, due to the varying distance between the spinal cord and the stimulating
    electrode array. As a result, the pain relieving effect may either vanish (when
    the distance is too large), or be dominated by uncomfortable sensations. To
    avoid these adverse conditions the current density in the spinal cord has to remain
    within a small window. In present SCS systems the stimulus applied by the
    electrode array is either set at a constant value, or the patient is allowed to select
    one out of only two preset pulse amplitudes. Therefore, a major improvement
    would be achieved if the distance between stimulation electrode array and
    spinal cord could be measured and used as a feedback signal to control the
    stimulus amplitude in a closed-loop system. Therefore, an ultrasonic distance
    detection system has been proposed to measure the distance between stimulation
    electrode array and the spinal cord. The ultrasonic system consists of a piezoelectric
    transducer and an echo detection circuit. To enable the design and optimization
    of the piezoelectric transducer an appropriate model description is
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Bergveld, Piet, Supervisor
    • Olthuis, Wouter, Co-Supervisor
    Award date27 Feb 2003
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs90036518636
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2003

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