Help me design a cheap iontopheresis machine

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by echelon1, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. echelon1

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 20, 2015
    1
    0
    Hello,

    I apologize in advance, I know very little about electronics/circuit design/etc but I was hoping I could find some help here. I am interested in creating a cheap, portable, and safe, machine to perform iontopheresis on my hands as a treatment for excessive sweating.

    Here's my current (and very rudimentary but effective) setup that I've been using for the last 6 or 7 years (and previously I used this but I don't think it was powerful enough): I connect 4 rechargeable 9V batteries in series and attach a lead from either end to two respective stainless steel toaster oven trays (one for each hand), which are then filled with tap water and a dash of salt. When I place a hand in each pan, the circuit is completed. I sit like that for roughly a half hour, and then I reverse the current and repeat.

    Here are the problems with the current setup and what I'm looking for in a new one:
    1. Charging batteries is a pain in the ass, and buying new ones is expensive. Ideally I'd like something that can plug into the wall, but I obviously don't want to put my life at risk.
    2. Obviously there is no way to control the current of this system, so every time I put the second hand in the water I get shocked. This makes it difficult to get started (think about watching someone prepare to kick you in the balls - your body won't just let you sit there and take it, the apprehension is too much). I would want something with a switch of some sort, ideally something like a rheostat or some method by which I can dial up the current slowly.
    3. Now, the issue of my personal safety - My current setup runs current through my body and if this is a significant issue at this level of current (a question in itself) I would like to find a way to avoid that.
    4. I travel for a living and spend a good portion of my life in hotel rooms and on airplanes - whatever this ends up being would need to be portable somehow.
    5. I never know how much voltage I'm using and what current I draw because I don't know how to measure it. This makes it difficult to keep my treatments consistent. Maybe someone could help me with this as well?

    ... Or I could just go buy one of these from a medical supplier for several thousand dollars, but where's the fun in that? Thanks in advance for any and all guidance you guys can provide, I really appreciate it!
     
  2. k7elp60

    Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    478
    69
    I am not sure what you want. I looks similar to a TEN (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)unit. The TENS units provide impulses at different rates and at different current amounts to the human body for handling pain. From what I read about the iontopheresis machine it is very similar in that it generates small currents to inject into the human body. I also read that it is used to infuse the substance into the human body with the help of a small current. If I am on the right track please let me know, as I am be able to help you with circuit.
     
  3. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    4,170
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    According to Tektronix, 50 mA is lethal, so stay in the 1 mA to 5 mA range. I would stay with battery operation, maybe 4 AA Ni-MH driving a boost circuit for the 36 V. Should give around 30 hours operation. Possibly use a variable constant current ckt with a ramp-up to set point feature. Buy a multimeter. Do some more research.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  4. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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    I designed one years ago for a Pediatric Pulmonary Function lab to replace their old 67.5v battery/pot/meter. As I remember it was powered by 4 AA batteries, a DC/DC converter, constant current circuit, and a cut off timer. Supplied 1.5 mA to two electrodes spaced about 4" apart on the patient's forearm. I think I added a crowbar circuit in case there was a failure in the constant current source. No path across the heart!

    Ken
     
  5. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    Is there anything to your current setup other than batteries and wires? Any electronic circuit of any kind?

    ak
     
  6. Dodgydave

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    4,963
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    For Hyperhidrosis treatment try dropping the voltage to 18v to 24v, and use more salt in the water, that should lower the sudden shock, you could use a mains adapter instead of batteries, or use NiCad or nimih rechargeable and an adapter.
     
  7. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    I would advise against that, on safety grounds. Failure of the adapter could have lethal consequences.
     
    Bernard likes this.
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