Wireless neural stimulators are being developed to address problems associated with traditional lead-based implants. However, designing wireless stimulators on the sub-millimeter scale (< 1 mm3) is challenging. As device size shrinks, it becomes difficult to deliver sufficient wireless power to operate the device. Here, we present a sub-millimeter, inductively powered neural stimulator consisting only of a coil to receive power, a capacitor to tune the resonant frequency of the receiver, and a diode to rectify the radio-frequency signal to produce neural excitation. By replacing any complex receiver circuitry with a simple rectifier, we have reduced the required voltage levels that are needed to operate the device from 0.5 to 1 V (e.g., for CMOS) to ~0.25-0.5 V. This reduced voltage allows the use of smaller receive antennas for power, resulting in a device volume of 0.3-0.5 mm3. The device was encapsulated in epoxy, and successfully passed accelerated lifetime tests in 80°C saline for 2 weeks. We demonstrate a basic proof-of-concept using stimulation with tens of microamps of current delivered to the sciatic nerve in rat to produce a motor response.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Freeman, O'Brien, Kumar, Daniels, Irion, Shraytah, Ingersoll, Magyar, Czarnecki, Wheeler, Coppeta, Abban, Gatzke, Fried, Lee, Duwel, Bernstein, Widge, Hernandez-Reynoso, Kanneganti, Romero-Ortega and Cogan.
- Implantable neurostimulators
- Inductive coupling
- Wireless neural stimulation