Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is a debilitating chronic disease of the lower extremities particularly affecting older adults and diabetics. It results in reduction of the blood flow to peripheral tissue and sometimes causing tissue damage such that PVD patients suffer from pain in the lower legs, thigh and buttocks after activities. Electrical neurostimulation based on the "Gate Theory of Pain" is a known to way to reduce pain but current devices to do this are bulky and not well suited to implantation in peripheral tissues. There is also an increased risk associated with surgery which limits the use of these devices. This research has designed and constructed wireless ultrasound powered microstimulators that are much smaller and injectable and so involve less implantation trauma. These devices are small enough to fit through an 18 gauge syringe needle increasing their potential for clinical use. These piezoelectric microdevices convert mechanical energy into electrical energy that then is used to block pain. The design and performance of these miniaturized devices was modeled by computer while constructed devices were evaluated in animal experiments. The devices are capable of producing 500ms pulses with an intensity of 2 mA into a 2 kilo-ohms load. Using the rat as an animal model, a series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the in-vivo performance of the devices.
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