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Neural recording and stimulation using wireless networks of microimplants

Paper Title:

Neural recording and stimulation using wireless networks of microimplants

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Abstract

Multichannel electrophysiological sensors and stimulators—particularly those used to study the nervous system—are usually based on monolithic microelectrode arrays. However, the architecture of such arrays limits flexibility in electrode placement and scaling to a large number of nodes, especially across non-contiguous locations. Here we report wirelessly networked and powered electronic microchips that can autonomously perform neural sensing and electrical microstimulation. The microchips, which we term neurograins, have an ~1 GHz electromagnetic transcutaneous link to an external telecom hub, providing bidirectional communication and control at the individual device level. To illustrate the potential of the approach, we show that 48 neurograins can be individually addressed on a rat cortical surface and used for the acute recording of neural activity. Theoretical calculations and experimental measurements show that the link configuration could potentially be scaled to 770 neurograins using a customized time-division multiple access protocol.

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