Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)

A programmable high-voltage compliance neural stimulator for deep brain stimulation in vivo.

PMID 26029954


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one of the most effective therapies for movement and other disorders. The DBS neurosurgical procedure involves the implantation of a DBS device and a battery-operated neurotransmitter, which delivers electrical impulses to treatment targets through implanted electrodes. The DBS modulates the neuronal activities in the brain nucleus for improving physiological responses as long as an electric discharge above the stimulation threshold can be achieved. In an effort to improve the performance of an implanted DBS device, the device size, implementation cost, and power efficiency are among the most important DBS device design aspects. This study aims to present preliminary research results of an efficient stimulator, with emphasis on conversion efficiency. The prototype stimulator features high-voltage compliance, implemented with only a standard semiconductor process, without the use of extra masks in the foundry through our proposed circuit structure. The results of animal experiments, including evaluation of evoked responses induced by thalamic electrical stimuli with our fabricated chip, were shown to demonstrate the proof of concept of our design.