Methods Of Fabricating A Multi-Electrode Array For Spinal Cord Epidural Stimulation

Tech ID: 30130 / UC Case 2015-911-0

Summary

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering and Department of Integrated Biology & Physiology have developed a novel array for spinal cord epidural stimulation.

Background

The discovery of epidural stimulation therapy has been a ground-breaking achievement for the treatment of spinal cord injury that has allowed for partial recovery of motor activity in previously paralyzed patients.  This procedure involves a chip that is surgically implanted into the lower part of the patients’ spinal cord.  This chip is connected to the circuits within the spinal cord and produces a continuous electrical current that can be controlled remotely by a device outside of the body.  This current “reactivates” the nerves in the spinal cord which, paired with physiotherapy, permits voluntary movements of the lower body.  Epidural stimulation therapy has also been reported to be beneficial for patients that suffer from chronic back pain, making it a potential substitute for opioids.  Epidural stimulation therapy is the most advanced form of treatment available for spinal cord injury patients and continuous improvements on its design will allow for this therapy to be utilized for more patients.

Innovation

UCLA researchers have designed an electrode array for spinal cord epidural stimulation therapy that uses multiple electrodes to allow for flexible arrangement along the spinal cord.  The polymer of which it is constructed on is flexible, durable, and can withstand spinal cord movements for long periods of time.

Applications

  • Partial restoration of motility in patients with spinal cord injury-induced paralysis
  • Treatment of chronic pain as a substitute for opioid use

Advantages

  • Selectable/programmable multi-site electrodes that allow for variable parameters for optimal stimulation of the spinal cord
  • Increased mechanical flexibility and durability

State Of Development

This invention has been developed and has been shown to work in mice.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20170246450 08/31/2017 2015-911
Canada Published Application 2962045 07/05/2017 2015-911
China Published Application WO 2016/033372 03/03/2016 2015-911
Republic Of Korea (South Korea) Published Application WO 2016/033372 03/03/2016 2015-911
 

Contact

Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches

Inventors

  • Liu, Wentai

Other Information

Keywords

spine, spinal cord, spinal cord injury, spinal cord stimulation (SCS), epidural stimulation, electrode, paralysis, chronic pain

Categorized As