Electronic implementation of a PWM electrical nerve stimulation system for medical treatment of acute and chronic pains

  • Lamia Bouafif
  • Noureddine Ellouze


In this paper we will implement a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) designed for medical applications in order to reduce acute and chronic pains. This procedure uses electrical currents pulses applied on the skin area via electrodes. Two kinds of stimulation are adopted: the peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) and the spinal cord stimulation (SCS). In either, a small pulse generator sends electrical pulses to the nerves (in PNS stimulation) or to the spinal cord (SCS stimulation). Previous studies on TENS technique showed that the obtained results are not very satisfactory and depend on the patient’s state, condition, age, and stimulation parameters. In order to optimize the conditions and parameters stimulation during treatments, we present in this paper a new strategy called pulse width modulation stimulation (PWM-TENS) based on a parametric computing of frequency, current intensity, pulse duration of stimuli. To implement our approach, we used an embedded platform under Arduino-Uno with five several programs depending on the pain category and according to international medical standards and specifications. The first tests on 15 volunteer patients showed satisfaction ratio (EVA) after 5–12 days and a pain reduction between 80 and 20 after 1 month of stimulation. This result is important because it prolongs the analgesic effect and reduces therapeutic rehabilitation period. The medical aspect of the subject is to have a medical tool that allows objective evaluations for short and medium periods of pain treatments with dynamic evaluation metrics.


Electric stimulation Pain transmission Gate control Supra spinal TENS implementation 



This work is conduct with the cooperation of the National Institute of Biomedical Studies of Tunis.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electric Engineering DepartmentNational High Institute of Biomedical Studies of TunisTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Image and Signal Processing LaboratoryUniversity of Tunis ManarTunisTunisia

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