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February 22nd, 2016 at 9:35 am

Powering brain implants with thin-film wireless power transmission system and without wires

brain

Researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan have fabricated an implanted wireless power transmission (WPT) device that delivers power to an implanted neural interface system, such as a brain-computer interface (BCI) device. This implant avoids risk of infections through skull opening and leakage of cerebrospinal fluid, and allows for free-moving subjects and more flexible uses of brain-computer interfaces

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Described in an open-access paper in Sensors journal, the system avoids having to connect an implanted device to an external power source via wires through a hole in the skull, which can cause infections through the opening and risk of infection and leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid during long-term measurement. The system also allows for free-moving subjects, allowing for more natural behavior in experiments.

The researchers used a wafer-level packaging technique to integrate a silicon large-scale integration (LSI) chip in a thin (5 micrometers), flexible parylene film, using flip-chip (face-down) bonding to the film. The system includes a thin-film antenna and a rectifier to convert a radio-frequency signal to DC voltage (similar to how an RFID chip works). The entire system measures 27 mm × 5 mm, and the flexible film can conform to the surface of the brain.

The researchers plan to integrate additional functions, including amplifiers, analog-to-digital converters, signal processors, and  a radio frequency circuit for transmitting (and receiving) data.

Such a system could perform some of the functions of the Braingate system, which allows paralyzed patients to communicate (see “People with paralysis control robotic arms using brain-computer interface“).

This work is partially supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Young Scientists, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Image Credit: sciencenewsline.com - Kenji Okabe et al./Sensors
Article via kurzweilai.net

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