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Minimally Invasive Injectable Electrode Could Revolutionize Neuromodulation Pain Treatment

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Feb 2024
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Image: The flexible electrode can be injected into the body to stimulate damaged nerves and relieve chronic pain (Photo courtesy of Neuronoff)
Image: The flexible electrode can be injected into the body to stimulate damaged nerves and relieve chronic pain (Photo courtesy of Neuronoff)

The primary approach to pain management often includes corticosteroid drug injections, delivered using needles ranging from 18-23 gauge. These injections provide pain relief lasting from a few weeks to several months. However, their use is restricted to 2-4 times a year due to possible side effects like tissue weakening and hyperglycemia. If the intervals between treatments are surpassed, doctors may explore other options such as alternative medications, radiofrequency ablation, surgery, or neuromodulation. Now, a minimally invasive injectable electrode minimizes or eliminates the need for surgery, as well as more drug injections or oral drugs for pain management. Once implanted, this device establishes a low-impedance pathway for electrical signals to travel from just below the skin to the nerve responsible for pain transmission, all without requiring sutures or leaving any visible scars.

Neuronoff, Inc. (Cleveland, OH, USA) has developed the Injectrode, a groundbreaking device for peripheral nerve stimulation and a pioneer in minimally invasive transcutaneous stimulation. This technology offers a simple treatment alternative for chronic pain sufferers while avoiding the need for medications or invasive surgeries. The Injectrode is designed as an easy-to-place, long-term lead that remains virtually undetectable externally, maintaining patient privacy. The aesthetic results of a completely injected lead without any external wires or protrusions mark a significant improvement over current offerings.

Neuronoff has recently achieved a significant milestone in chronic pain treatment by successfully conducting the first human implant of the Injectrode. This development is poised to transform chronic pain management by offering a less invasive, transcutaneously stimulated option compared to traditional neuromodulation therapies. In this landmark study, two participants underwent the minimally invasive procedure, with the injectable electrode targeting peripheral nerve branches in the lumbar lower back, an important site for novel lower back pain treatments. This accomplishment represents a major step forward in minimally invasive neuromodulation therapies. The initial human trial highlights the Injectrode's ability to effectively target nerve sites with minimal or no unintended muscle activation, offering a new option for treating chronic lower back pain.

"The ease of placement of the Injectrode in this initial study is incredibly promising," said principal investigator Dr. Amol Soin who led the study. "This simple needle-based approach is poised to give patients and physicians a viable early treatment option that isn't a steroid injection or pharmacological solution."

"This successful start of our lumbar peripheral nerve stimulation study marks a significant milestone for Neuronoff,” said Manfred Franke, CEO of Neuronoff. “It represents a major step toward our goal of reducing the barriers to entry for neuromodulation-based treatments by addressing the common patient concern about the surgery often required for chronic neuromodulation.”

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