During last decade deep brain stimulation (DBS) became one of the most important therapies in functional neurosurgery. DBS inactivates, but does not destroy, the parts of the brain responsible for various disorders. DBS has now been suggested as an emergent treatment for various conditions, including hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, consciousness, memory improvement, aggressiveness, and even drug addiction and obesity.
A major source of complications and reliability issue of DBS are the lead wires connecting the implanted electrodes to a separately implanted pulse generator. There have been reported numerous attempts to eliminate implant’s leads using remotely powered devices utilizing either electromagnetic or ultrasonic energy transmission but all known approaches suffer from inefficiency and restricted safe power transfer capabilities.
In the method of the leadless DBS which is being developed by Artann, a miniature piezotransducer incorporated in the implanted stimulator generates an electrical signal at the target site using TRA technique of accurate focusing of acoustic energy from an external source. If successful, this technology will dramatically simplify every aspect of DBS. Major innovative idea of this project is the use of human skull as an acoustic reverberator of TRA focusing system for energizing leadless deep brain stimulators. Another innovation is the concept of “smart hat” which comprises the electronic unit of the TRA system, the DBS programmer-controller and ultrasonic transmitters.