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Technical Brief

Intradiscal Microprobe With a Vibrational Optical Fiber for Diagnosis and Thermal Therapy of Discogenic Pain Due to an Annular Fissure

[+] Author and Article Information
Giseok Kang

Department of Medical System Engineering,
Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST),
317 Dasan Building,
123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu,
Gwangju 500-712, South Korea
e-mail: kidolgun@gmail.com

Jae-Cheon Kim

Department of Pharmacology,
College of Medicine,
Catholic University of Korea,
Seoul 137-701, South Korea
e-mail: jck@catholic.ac.kr

Sangdo Jeong

Department of Medical System Engineering,
GIST,
317 Dasan Building,
123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu,
Gwangju 500-712, South Korea
e-mail: sdj@gist.ac.kr

Hyoung-Ihl Kim

Department of Medical System Engineering,
GIST,
424 Dasan Building,
123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu,
Gwangju 500-712, South Korea
e-mail: hyoungihl@gist.ac.kr

Jong-Hyun Lee

Department of Medical System Engineering,
GIST,
422 Dasan Building,
123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu,
Gwangju 500-712, South Korea
e-mail: jonghyun@gist.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 11, 2015; final manuscript received April 11, 2016; published online August 5, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Rita M. Patterson.

J. Med. Devices 10(4), 044502 (Aug 05, 2016) (5 pages) Paper No: MED-15-1260; doi: 10.1115/1.4033601 History: Received September 11, 2015; Revised April 11, 2016

Major studies have shown that discogenic pain is the most common cause of chronic lower back pain, accounting for 40% of all the causes. Provocation discography—inducing pains by pressing nerve structures around the annular fissures—is recognized as the only method for diagnosing discogenic pain. However, the method is not available to the patient with full-thickness fissures because of a contrast media leakage through the fissure. In this paper, intradiscal microprobes (IDMPs) affecting direct mechanical stimulus on the nerve fiber are presented for diagnosis of the fissure. The plastic optical fiber (POF), located in the flexible polymer tube, can be navigated to fissure vicinities. Then, a linear or rotational motor placed inside the probe grip generates a minute axial or radial vibration of the fiber tip, which irritates the tiny pain nerve fiber around the fissure. The intensity of the pain can serve as a guideline to determine the level of discogenic disease. The frequency and amplitude of the axial (radial) vibration discography were 2.9–5.7 (4.0–7.0) Hz and 1.5–3.4 (0.06–3.25) mm, respectively. Furthermore, the optical experiments for evaluation of thermal therapy application were successfully confirmed.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Diagram of the proposed IDMP capable of steering and vibrational stimulus: (a) axial-vibrating IDMP with linear motor and (b) radial-vibrating IDMP with rotational motor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Photograph of the fabricated IDMP. (a) Steered polymer tube at 90 deg angle by manually controlled lever. (b) Polymer tube steered toward outer disk above a life-size human spine model. The inset is a magnified view of the protruding POF tip. (c) The X-ray (C-arm) picture of the polymer tube steered toward the inner rim of a pig spinal cord.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Measured frequency and vibration amplitude characteristics of fabricated IDMPs. (a) Axial-vibrating IDMPs at various speeds. (b) Radial-vibrating IDMPs at various steering angles of optical fiber.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Optical experiment for laser intensity loss with respect to fiber-steered angle. (a) Schematic of the experimental setup with a laser, lens, and power meter. (b) Experimental result with respect to laser power and steering angle of optical fiber.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Optical experiment for pig disk temperature (°C) with respect to fiber-steered angle. (a) Schematic of the experimental setup with a laser, lens, and IR camera. Experimental result with respect to laser power and steering angle of optical fiber. (b) Contact between the fiber and disk. (c) Gap of 2 mm between the fiber and the disk.

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