One of our first ever projects was the ‘Tri-Stimuli – Chronic Back Pain Relief Device’.
Directors Brian and Seán invented this novel device while based in Trinity College Dublin with the help of Enterprise Ireland through their commercialisation grant scheme.
Brian fractured two vertebrae when he was younger and deals with chronic lower back pain on a daily basis. He was acutely aware of the shortcomings in finding effective long term relief from chronic lower back pain and used his experience to develop the Tri-Stimuli device with the Trinity College anatomy department. The device itself used a novel technique developed by theCADlab team that had never been seen before in the medical device industry and marked the beginnings of their hallmark iterative design process.
Seán used his electronics expertise to develop numerous working prototypes that randomly delivered three different pain-relieving stimuli into the user’s back to directly tackle the adaptation of the central nervous system to pain-relieving stimulus. Brian then evaluated each design using a range of experimental techniques to further the device’s design until the finished prototype was reached. These evaluations involved monitoring the heat change in the back when using the device’s heating function, evaluating the frequencies delivered by the device to the back using it’s vibration function and measuring the pressure experienced in the back by it’s pressure application function.
Below are some of the photos from the design development process:
A core challenge posed by this project was bringing the device from a bulky, research orientated prototype to a streamlined, user friendly product that could be tested by groups in St. James’ Hospital.
Seán designed a series of test circuits in the same iterative fashion as the prototypes, each more compact than the last, before designing and manufacturing the finished control board that could carry out all the necessary functionality. It was a fraction of the size and used smart phone connectivity rather than the testing control module. Seán and Brian concluded the project after developing this fully functioning prototype. Below are some images from the electronic development phase of the project:
Tri-Stimuli – Chronic Back Pain Relief Device acts as a great example of the design process and the capability of theCadlab team. The idea was initially drawn up on a scrap piece of paper, then 3D design and rapid prototyping helped to secure initial investment. That investment funded the research and development of a working prototype and a significant amount of funding was offered for a two year trial and development project.
If you have any questions with regards to this project or anything mentioned in this blog please don’t hesitate to send us an email!