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Exp Neurol. 2012 Jun;235(2):621-6. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2012.03.016. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Wireless peripheral nerve stimulation increases pain threshold in two neuropathic rat models.

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  • 1MicroTransponder Inc., Austin, TX, USA.


Neurostimulation approaches including spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation are typically used to treat intractable chronic pain in individuals who are refractory to pain medications. Our earlier studies have shown that a voltage controlled capacitive discharge (VCCD) method of stimulation of nerve activation is able to selectively recruit activity in large myelinated nerve fibers. In this study, we were able to wirelessly activate the sciatic nerve using the VCCD waveform. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this waveform can effectively improve two of the most troublesome pain symptoms experienced by patients with chronic neuropathic pain mechanical and cold hyperalgesia. Neuropathic mechanical hyperalgesia was reproduced using the Spinal Nerve Ligation (SNL) rat model whereas cold allodynia was reproduced using the Chronic Constriction Injury (CCI) model in male rats. Von Frey and cold plate tests were used to evaluate paw withdrawal threshold and latency to withdrawal before and after stimulation in experimental and control rats. Paw withdrawal threshold increased significantly compared to post-lesion baseline after VCCD stimulation in SNL rats. We also observed a significant improvement in cold allodynia in the active implant CCI rats after stimulation. These results suggest that the VCCD stimulation using a wireless microstimulator may be effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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