Neurology: Advanced neurostimulation
More than 10% of the world’s death and disability is due to neurological disorders, according to the World Health Organization. Medical device and biopharmaceutical companies are pursuing new and improved tools to help diagnose and treat these disorders: Increasingly, they are turning to the proven biomaterials and capabilities of DSM to help create these novel products.
Neurological disorders and injuries
Electrical stimulation is proving to alleviate painful symptoms and restore function following neurologic disease or injury. Spinal cord stimulators are making strides in restoring neurological functions in the bladder, lungs and limbs. They also are proving effective in treating chronic and intractable pain. Meanwhile, deep brain stimulation is being used for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia, and is being tested for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
DSM is helping device manufacturers advance the utility of neurostimulators – which isn’t easy. Implanted devices to deliver the energy must be biostable so they won’t break down; and biocompatible so the body doesn’t reject them. Their components must be strong and durable to resist tearing or environmental stress cracking, yet thin and flexible to move comfortably with the patient.
Safe, effective implants
Numerous medical devices and technologies have benefited from the combined mechanical properties and biocompatibility of our materials, in fact a hallmark of DSM biomaterials is the ease with which they can be processed into devices.
Medical device companies focused on neurostimulation have used DSM’s proven polyurethanes to develop strong, flexible leads which are less prone to tearing and have demonstrated improved resistance to environmental stress cracking. Our polymers can be customized to different degrees of hardness to meet specific device design needs. Also, our extensive experience in surface chemistry employing our patented Surface Modifying End Group (SME®) technology can alter the surface of a device for specific applications. DSM also has a proven record of success with lead insulation in neurostimulators where electrical insulation properties are critical for device effectiveness – and patient safety.
As device manufacturers look to make smaller devices to improve patient comfort via less invasive procedures, they are incorporating our Dyneema Purity® fiber into their device designs as it allows reinforcement of devices with smaller diameters, yet with similar mechanical strength. Our Dyneema Purity® fiber is being evaluated for use in reinforcing neurocatheters to help preserve the mechanical integrity of the neurostimulation lead.
In the growing area of drug delivery, our Trancerta™ technology is developed to help relieve pain by delivering powerful analgesics directly to the site of the pain. For example, we are now working with biopharmaceutical industry engineers to assure precise medication delivery to the spine.
- Brain/spinal cord injuries
- Movement disorders
- Pain management
- Bionate® and Bionate® II thermoplastic polycarbonate urethane
- BioSpan® segmented polyurethane
- CarboSil® thermoplastic silicone-polycarbonate-urethane
- Elasthane™ thermoplastic polyether-urethane