Present Technology. At this time, location of nerves beneath the skin involves either noticeable electric shock in a trial and error search method at the skin surface or invasive means, such use of a nerve stimulation needle or surgical visualization. The proprietary NERVONIX Nerve Imaging Technology is based on the ability of nerves to alter tissue distribution parameters of electrical fields. Since depolarization of the neuronal cell membrane is not required for this effect, extremely low-intensity electrical fields can be employed for image construction. Impedance changes measured at the skin surface are translated into data to pinpoint and construct a two-dimensional image of the underlying nerve structures, which appear in the form of peaks on a topographical map. The highest impedance levels show up as the brightest peaks on the map. The technology operates non-invasively and without any unpleasant sensations.
NERVONIX nerve image (left) and anatomic drawing (right) of the sacrum, a bony structure in the lower back. The box on the right indicates the approximate position of the imaging. The six white peaks in the image indicate nerve tissue associated with the sacrum; additional peaks on the left were associated with a painful clinical process. No other, existing technology provides such images and information.
The Clinical Need for NERVONIX Technology. Clinical need for nerve imaging technology exists because there are no convenient and effective imaging techniques to determine the position of peripheral nerves (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord). Today, medical procedures that require knowing peripheral nerve location generally fall within the artof medicine rather than the science of medicine. The position of a particular nerve varies from person-to-person, as do the anatomic landmarks that are the critical determinants in placing peripheral nerve blocks and surgical incisions. These gross variations result in health care professionals having to make “best guesses” when performing peripheral nerve blocks, pain management procedures, and surgery. Thus, there is clear clinical need for better techniques to locate peripheral nerves. The means to detect nerve abnormalities are also needed in order to alleviate and prevent pain.