The Design and Construction of a Portable Multichannel Spinal Cord Stimulator based on PIC18F452 Microcontroller

F. Yalcinkaya, A. Erbas, and E. Kizilkaplan (Turkey)


Spinal Cord Stimulator, Multichannel, Medical Instrumentation, Software Control, Microcomputer.


Spinal Cord Stimulation is a physical therapy utilizing electrical impulses, pulses or patient specific waveforms to block pain. There has been a persistent search for a non-destructive, non-invasive, and effective way of relieving pain. Two different types of designs may be realized: Bed-side type [portable] or implantation/the surgical type. This work is made of three parts: Hardware (H/W) and software designs (S/W) and interface electronics introducing the system to external medical systems. The PIC18F452 Microcomputer based spinal cord stimulator generates three different types of signals: a variable saw-tooth wave with a minimum duty pulse width of 50 µs, a variable triangular wave with a minimum duty pulse width of 100 µs and a symmetrical variable impulse with a minimum duty pulse width of 25 µs is described. Three parameters are software controlled, namely amplitude, frequency and duty-cycle. Hardware and software designs are explained. The frequency, duty-cycle and amplitudes of the pulses can be altered by software control making it a versatile stimulator. The stimulators architecture is designed to be modular and therefore its different blocks can be reused as standard building blocks. The developed and constructed Spinal Cord Stimulation enables both home and bed-side health care. The system is battery operated, portable and cost effective.

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