Most implantable neurostimulation systems consist of a pulse generator, that looks like a pacemaker, and electrode leads through which electric current is delivered. Stimwave Technologies out of Ft Lauderdale, Florida, has developed neurostimulation systems in which only the electrode component is implanted, while power is delivered wirelessly via a separate device placed against the skin near the implant.
Now the company’s SandShark percutaneous injectable anchor system has been approved in Europe that helps to affix Stimwave’s implantable wireless neurostimulators within the target tissue.
Implantation is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in an outpatient setting. It involves first injecting the stimulator, which is only a few millimeters long, and then sliding the SandShark over the implant and pushing it toward ligaments or other hard connective tissues. The anchor can be seen under X-ray fluoroscopy, and once in place, a mechanism is activated to open up the anchor’s wings so it’s locked in place. The orientation of the implant is preserved during the process, helping to make sure it’s aligned properly with the nearby target nerves.