Date of Defense



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Damon Miller


Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation is a non-invasive procedure used to eliminate back pain. An electrode, inserted into the spine of the patient, is connected to a radio frequency (RF) generator. An electrical return pad is then connected to the patient's thigh. This completes a basic electrical circuit from the device to the patient and back to the device. At that point, a high voltage, high frequency wave form is generated. This waveform heats up the nerve tissue to the point of necrosis (cell death). The nerve, being disabled, stops transmitting pain signals to the brain, thus eliminating the back pain suffered by the patient.

Stryker is a leader in the Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation market with its current product named the MultiGen™. Stryker currently purchases the MultiGen™ from an outside supplier. Due to increasing competition in the Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation market, Stryker plans to create a new product with more features, at a lower price. To accomplish this goal Stryker would like to bring the process in-house and utilize a new radio frequency designed by the Advanced Technologies group at Stryker.

This project laid the foundation for future product development by creating a control board which could be used to test the RF generator. Initial testing of the RF generator found that the RF generator communications protocol was functional but not always reliable. Thus, future development of the RF generator is needed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only