By Brandon Glenn

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) has received European regulatory approval to begin selling the next-generation version of its Epiducer lead delivery system.

Leads are wires containing electrodes that deliver electrical shocks from neurostimulators, which use electricity to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain in patients suffering from chronic pain.

The Epiducer system allows physicians to place under-the-skin, paddle-shaped leads with an easier, less-invasive procedure compared to other lead-delivery systems, St. Jude said in a statement.

"The Epiducer system is redefining percutaneous procedures, presenting physicians with a unique, new option to place leads and reduce procedural complexities," said Chris Chavez, president of St. Judes neuromodulation division.

The device has not received regulatory clearance in the U.S.

St. Judes neuromodulation division is the smallest of the companys six business units. In the first quarter of 2010, neuromodulation sales grew 15 percent to $84 million. About 19 percent of neuromodulation sales came from international markets.