Direct Spinal Therapeutics, a medical device venture, has created a novel device called the I (Iowa) Patch System to be implanted in patients to alter the functions of the spinal cord.
The system involves putting an array of electrodes directly on the surface of the spine, connected to an electric simulator, which will help relieve chronic back pain in patients who injured their back or have had back surgery that did not improve their situation or caused scarring or injury to the nerves. The company hopes that later applications of the device will even allow paralyzed patients to move their extremities again.
While other spinal cord stimulators exist on the market, no other devices are placed directly on the spinal cord. As a result they are only effective on about half the patients, due to the distance and fluids between the device and the spinal cord.
Direct Spinal Therapeutics came up with a way to safely put the device directly on the spinal cord.
The device is currently in the prototype phase and will undergo more FDA testing before it can be tested on humans.