Pain management: DSM biomaterials to the rescue
Blocking pain signals
Spinal cord stimulation has proven effective for treating chronic intractable pain due to diabetic neuropathy, failed back surgery, postherapeutic neuralgia and many other complex pain syndromes. It relieves many types of pain originating all over the body.
Although neurostimulation doesn’t cure the cause of pain, it effectively masks its sensation. A thin wire transmits pulses from the implanted generator to nerves along the spinal cord. The pain signals are intercepted and prevented from reaching the brain; with the pain replaced by a more pleasant sensation. It can reduce or eliminate the need for oral pain medications while increasing activity levels and improving quality of life for patients.
DSM has helped leading device manufacturers with recent advances in neurostimulation. The result: lower-profile devices for epidural placement, helping to reduce the risk and morbidity of implant procedures. Our expertise in biomaterials can assist medical device manufacturers develop more sophisticated microelectrodes and percutaneous leads.
Delivering drugs to pain sites
DSM is exploring using bioresorbable material carriers to help medical device and pharmaceutical companies treat numerous painful conditions: For example, an implant that releases an anti-inflammatory agent post-surgically to reduce pain and swelling, or antibiotics to lower the risk of infection.
Using implanted material particles or devices for drug delivery also avoids the systemic administration of heavy-duty painkillers and their accompanying side effects. This approach helps circumvent issues involving the use and abuse of oral opioids.
Our scientists are working on drug delivery technology based on DSM next-generation polymers that will allow greater control over the rate and duration of drug release. The goal? To improve effectiveness and assure pain relief for countless numbers of patients.
Benefits of DSM innovations
It’s not just people who benefit from DSM contributions to pain management. We are also helping take the pain out of overall health care costs. Devices made with our innovative biomaterials are designed to reduce infection, speed recovery, shorten hospital stays and minimize reoperation. This can help hospitals reduce their costs while improving patient care.