Ultrasound guided peripheral nerve block (USgPNB) refers to anaesthetic techniques to deposit local anesthetic next to nerves, permitting painful surgery without necessitating general anesthesia. Needle tip position prior to local anesthetic deposition is a key determinant of block success and safety. Nerve puncture and intra-neural injection of local anesthetic can cause permanent nerve injury. Currently ultrasound guidance is not sufficiently sensitive to reliably detect needle to nerve proximity. Feedback with bioimpedance data from the smart needle tip might provide the anesthetist with information as to the relationship between the needle tip and the target nerve prior to local anesthetic deposition.
Bioimpedance using a smart needle integrated with a two-electrode impedance sensor has been developed to determine needle to nerve proximity during USgPNB. Having obtained all necessary ethical and regulatory approvals,