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1. WO2016097867 - DISPOSITIF DE TRAITEMENT IMPLANTABLE PRODUISANT DES ULTRASONS POUR LE TRAITEMENT DU CERVEAU, APPAREIL COMPRENANT UN TEL DISPOSITIF ET PROCÉDÉ METTANT EN ŒUVRE UN TEL DISPOSITIF

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CLAIMS

1 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders, comprising :

- an implantable ultrasound generating treating device to induce brain disorder treatment by emission of ultrasound waves, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating treating device is suitable for implantation in or under the skull bone of a patient, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) comprises an ultrasound emitting grid having several ultrasound generating transducers (20, 20a, 20b, 20c) held by a common holder (22) extending along a surface of extension, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating device (12) comprises at least one group of several ultrasound generating transducers (20, 20a, 20b, 20c) which are connectable by a common electrical connection circuit (24) to a generator (10) delivering electric drive signals driving the generation of ultrasound from the transducers, wherein the ultrasound generating transducers (20) each have one or several operating frequencies,

- a generator to supply electricity to the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12),

characterized in that the group of transducers consists of several transducers which are commonly driven by a same electrical drive signal, and which are therefore connected to the generator system by a common electrical connection circuit (24) of the implantable ultrasound generating treating device, where the electric drive signal serves both as power signal and as a control signal for operating selectively at least one or the other of a first transducer or sub-group of transducers within said group of transducers, and of a second transducer or sub-group of transducers within said group of transducers.

2 - Apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that the ultrasound generating transducers comprise, within said group of transducers, at least :

- a first ultrasound generating transducer or sub-group of transducers (20a) having at least a first operating frequency (Fa); and at least

- a second ultrasound generating transducer or sub-group of transducers (20b) having at least a second operating frequency (Fb) which is not an operating frequency of the first ultrasound transducer or sub-group of transducers (20a).

3 - Apparatus according to claim 2, characterized in that the first operating frequency (Fa) is not an operating frequency of the second ultrasound generating transducer or sub-group of transducers (20b).

4 - Apparatus according to any of claims 2 or 3, characterized in that the second operating frequency (Fb) differs from the nearest operating frequency of the first transducer or sub-group of transducers (20a) by at least 10% of the second operating frequency (Fb).

5 - Apparatus according to any preceding claim, characterized in that each ultrasound generating transducer of a same group of transducers has an operating frequency different from any operating frequency of any transducer of that group.

6 - Apparatus according to any preceding claim, characterized in that an operating frequency of a transducer (20, 20a, 20b, 20c) is a resonant frequency of the transducer (20, 20a, 20b, 20c).

7 - Apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that each ultrasound generating transducer (20) is connected to the common electrical connection circuit (24) through a dedicated frequency selector circuit.

8 - Apparatus according to claim 7, characterized in that the operating frequency of an ultrasound generating transducer is a resonant frequency of a dedicated frequency selector circuit through which the ultrasound generating transducer (20) is connected to the common electrical connection circuit (24).

9 - Apparatus according to claim 7 or 8, characterized in that each ultrasound generating transducer (20, 20a, 20b, 20c) is connected to the common electrical connection circuit (24) through a dedicated frequency selector circuit passing frequencies inside a frequency band, and in that the operating frequency of the ultrasound generating transducer is comprised in the frequency band of its dedicated frequency selector circuit.

10 - Apparatus according to claim 7, characterized in that the ultrasound generating transducers (20) within the group of transducers are connected to the common electrical connection circuit (24) through an implantable switch which is connected, upstream, to the common electrical connection circuit (24) and, downstream, separately to several distinct sub-groups of one or several ultrasound generating transducers (20).

11 - Apparatus according to claim 10, characterized in that the implantable switch selectively connects the common electrical connection circuit (24) to one of several distinct sub-groups of one or several ultrasound generating transducers (20), based on the electric drive signal which controls the implantable switch.

12- Apparatus according to claim 11, characterized in that the implantable switch selectively connects in a sequence the common electrical connection circuit (24) to one at a time of said several distinct sub-groups of one or several ultrasound generating transducers, based on the electric drive signal which controls the implantable switch.

13 - Apparatus according to claim 12, characterized in that the implantable switch generates a clock signal from the electric drive signal, said clock signal causing the switch to selectively connect in a sequence the common electrical connection circuit (24) to one at a time of said several distinct sub-groups of one or several ultrasound generating transducers.

14- Apparatus according to claim 12 or 13, characterized in that the implantable switch comprises a clock signal generator to generate a clock signal from the electric drive signal.

15 - Apparatus according to any of claims claim 10 to 14, characterized in that the implantable switch is energized from the electric drive signal.

16 - Apparatus according to any of claims 10 to 15, characterized in that the implantable switch generates a switch energizing signal from the electric drive signal, said switch energizing signal energizing the switch.

17 - Apparatus according any of claims 10 to 16, characterized in that the implantable switch comprises a switch energizing signal generator to generate a switch energizing signal from the electric drive signal.

18 - Apparatus according any of claims 10 to 17, characterized in that the implantable switch comprises.

- a digital counter having a control port and a set of output ports, where the control port receives a clock signal generated from the electric drive signal;

- a series of relays having each :

· a power input port the connected to the common electrical connection circuit to receive the electric drive signal;

• a power output port electrically connected to one of said several distinct sub-group of one or several ultrasound generating transducers;

· a gate port electrically connected to an output port of the digital counter.

19 - Apparatus according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the common electrical connection circuit (24) of the implantable ultrasound generating treating device starts from an implantable connection receiver (16) of the implantable ultrasound generating treating device and delivers electric signals to the transducers for driving the ultrasound generation of the transducers.

20 - Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the electrical connection circuit (24) comprises a connection receiver (16) having a casing.

21 - Apparatus according to claim 20, characterized in that the connection receiver casing is adapted to be fitted in a burr-hole (3) performed in the skull of the patient to be treated.

22 - Apparatus according to claim 20, characterized in that the connection receiver casing is adapted to be fixed to the skull bone.

23 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to any preceding claim, characterized in that it comprises a connector (14) to electrically connect the generator (10) and the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12).

24 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to claim 23, characterized in that the electrical connection circuit (24) of the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) comprises a connection receiver

(16) designed for cooperation with the connector (14) of the generator (10) to achieve electrical connection between the generator (10) and the ultrasound generating treating device (12).

25 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to claim 24, characterized in that the connector of the generator (10) comprises one or several transdermal needles (16) suitable for plugging into the connection receiver (16) through the patient's skin.

26 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to claim 25, characterized in that the generator (10) comprises only one two-way transdermal needle or only two one-way transdermal needles (16) for operating selectively at least one or the other of the first transducer or subgroup of transducers, and of the second transducer or sub-group of transducers of a same group of transducers.

27 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the generator (10) is implantable.

28 - Apparatus according to any preceding claim, characterized in that, on a given common holder (22), two transducers of a same sub-group are not adjacent.

29 - Apparatus according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the ultrasonic transducers (20) are sealed inside the holder (22) in a watertight manner.

30 - Apparatus according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the ultrasound emitting grid is rigid.

31 - Apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 29, characterized in that the ultrasound emitting grid is flexible.

32 - Apparatus according to claim 31, characterized in that the holder (22) comprises a unitary body of flexible material holding the ultrasound generating transducers.

33 - Apparatus according to claim 32, characterized in that the unitary body of flexible material exhibits several holding zones (23a) on each of which are held one or several ultrasound generating transducers (20), and, between the holding zones, the unitary body exhibits flexing zones (23b).

34 - Apparatus according to claim 33, characterized in that the flexing zones comprise portions of reduced thickness of the unitary holder.

35 - Apparatus according to claim 31, characterized in that the holder (22) is non-unitary and comprises several rigid holding portions (25a), on each of which one or several ultrasound generating transducers are held, and the rigid holding portions are connected by articulation portions (25b).

36 - Apparatus according to claim 35, characterized in that at least two distinct rigid portions (25a) hold each respectively one of at least two distinct ultrasound generating transducers (20).

37 - Apparatus according to claim 35, characterized in that the articulation portions are made with a mechanical connection, such as a pivot or ball joint connection, or form a flexing portion.

38 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to any of claims 2 to 6, characterized in that the generator delivers an electric drive signal which comprises selectively one or the other of:

- a first drive signal component having the first operating frequency; and of

- a second drive signal component having the second operating frequency;

in order to drive exclusively either one or the other of:

- the first transducer or sub-group of transducers; and of

- the second transducer or sub-group of transducers.

39 - Apparatus for the treatment of brain disorders according to any of claims 2 to 6, characterized in that the generator delivers an electric drive signal which comprises both of:

- a first drive signal component having the first operating frequency; and of

- a second drive signal component having the second operating frequency;

in order to drive simultaneously both of :

- the first transducer or sub-group of transducers; and of

- the second transducer or sub-group of transducers.

40 - Implantable ultrasound generating treating device to induce brain disorder treatment by emission of ultrasound waves, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating treating device is suitable for implantation in or under the skull bone of a patient, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) comprises an ultrasound emitting grid having several ultrasound generating transducers (20, 20a, 20b, 20c) held by a common holder (22) extending along a surface of extension, characterized in that

- the holder exhibits several holding zones (23a) on each of which are held one or several ultrasound generating transducers (20), and, between the holding zones, the holder exhibits flexing zones (23b);

- the holder has a contour and has voids within the contour, between the holding zones and the flexing zones.

41 - Implantable device according to claim 40, characterized in that.

- the holder comprises a unitary body of flexible material holding the ultrasound generating transducers;

- the unitary body of flexible material exhibits several holding zones (23a) on each of which are held one or several ultrasound generating transducers (20), and, between the holding zones, the unitary body exhibits flexing zones (23b);

- the holder has a contour and has voids within the contour, between the holding zones and the flexing zones.

42 - Implantable device according to claim 41, characterized in that the flexing zones comprise portions of reduced thickness of the unitary holder.

43 - Implantable device according to any of claim 40 to 42, characterized in that holding zones which hold the transducers are linked to each other by flexible arm portions, voids being delimited between such flexible arm portions.

44 - Implantable ultrasound generating treating device to induce brain disorder treatment by emission of ultrasound waves, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating treating device is suitable for implantation in or under the skull bone of a patient, wherein the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) comprises an ultrasound emitting grid having several

ultrasound generating transducers (20, 20a, 20b, 20c) held by a common holder (22) extending along a surface of extension, characterized in that

- the holder exhibits several holding zones (23a) on each of which are held one or several ultrasound generating transducers (20), and, between the holding zones, the holder exhibits flexing zones (23b);

- the holder exhibits differing flexibilities respectively around a first flexing axis and around a second flexing axis tangent to the surface of extension of the holder, said first and second flexing axis forming an acute angle of at least 30°.

45 - Implantable device according to claim 44, characterized in that the holder comprises :

- a first flexing zone extending along a first direction, perpendicular to the first flexing axis, from a given holding zone to a first adjacent holding zone;

- a second flexing zone extending along a second direction, perpendicular to the second flexing axis, from said given holding zone to a second adjacent holding zone distinct from the first adjacent holding zone,

and in that the first and second zones exhibit differing flexibilities respectively around the first flexing axis and around the second flexing axis.

46 - Implantable device according to claim 45, characterized in that the given holding zone and the first and second adjacent holding zones hold each only one ultrasound generating transducer, the centre of the corresponding transducer defining a centre of the holding zone, and wherein the flexibility of the of the first and second flexing zones are compared by :

- maintaining the given holding zone horizontal, as defined by a plane tangent to the surface of extension at the centre of the given holding zone;

- applying a given force on the centre of the first adjacent holding zone, along a force direction perpendicular to the surface of extension at the centre of the first adjacent holding zone and measuring the deflection of said centre along said force direction;

- applying the same given force on the centre of the second adjacent holding zone, along a direction perpendicular to the surface of extension at the centre of the second adjacent holding zone and measuring the deflection of said centre along said direction; - comparing the respective deflections.

47 - Implantable device according to any of claims 44 to 46, characterized in that it comprises at least three ultrasound generating treating devices aligned along said first direction on the holder.

48 - Implantable device according to any of claims 44 to 47, characterized in that it comprises at least three ultrasound generating treating devices aligned along said second direction on the holder.

49 - Implantable device according to any of claims 44 to 48, characterized in that the first direction and the second directions are orthogonal.

50 - Implantable device according to any of claims 40 to 49, characterized in that the implantable ultrasound generating device (12) has, in front of at least some of the ultrasound generating transducers (20), an ultrasound conditioning device (42, 44).

51 - Implantable device according to claim 50, characterized in that the ultrasound conditioning device (42, 44) is formed as a portion of the holder material which covers a frontal surface of an ultrasound generating transducer (20).

52 - Implantable device according to claim 50 or 51, characterized in that at least one of the ultrasound conditioning devices comprises one of a convergent lens (42), of a divergent lens (44), and/or of a diffracting array.

53 - Implantable device according to any of claims 40 to 52, characterized in that the holder exhibits :

- a lower surface intended to be installed facing the brain

- an upper surface opposite the lower surface

- a bevelled contour edge forming a bevel turning away from the upper surface.

54 - Apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 19, characterized in that the implantable ultrasound generating treating device is conform to any of claims 40 to 53.

55 - A method for treating brain disorders with an apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 40 or to claim 54 , characterized in that it comprises the steps of :

- performing at least one opening (3) into the skull (1) of a patient,

- implanting through said opening an implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12),

- surgically closing the skin,

- connecting to the implantable ultrasound generating treating device

(12) to the generator system (10),

- activating the generator system (10) for supplying power to said implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) and thereby inducing ultrasound wave emission into the brain (2),

- treating an area of the brain located beneath the implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) by ultrasound waves emission into the brain during a determined period, and

- deactivating the generator system (10) when treatment is complete. 56 - A method according to claim 55, characterized in that the step of supplying power to said implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) includes a step of generating an electric drive signal comprising selectively one or the other of :

- a first drive signal component having the first operating frequency; and of

- a second drive signal component having the second operating frequency;

in order to drive exclusively either one or the other of :

- the first transducer or sub-group of transducers; and of

- the second transducer or sub-group of transducers.

57 - A method according to claim 55 or 56, characterized in that the step of supplying power to said implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) includes a step of generating an electric drive signal comprising both of :

- a first drive signal component having the first operating frequency; and of

- a second drive signal component having the second operating frequency;

in order to drive simultaneously both of :

- the first transducer or sub-group of transducers; and of

- the second transducer or sub-group of transducers.

58 - A method according to claim 55, characterized in that the step of supplying power to said implantable ultrasound generating treating device (12) includes :

- a step of generating an electric drive signal;

- selectively connects in a sequence the common electrical connection circuit (24) through an implantable switch to one at a time of said several distinct sub-groups of one or several ultrasound generating transducers, based on the electric drive signal which controls the implantable switch.

59 - A method according to any of claims 55 to 58, characterized in that it further includes a step of injecting a contrast agent and/or a drug in the patient's blood before and/or during ultrasound emission in the brain, and emitting in the brain ultrasound waves with the implantable ultrasound generating device (12).