Characterization of simple wireless neurostimulators and sensors

Daniel W. Gulick, Bruce C. Towe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A single diode with a wireless power source and electrodes can act as an implantable stimulator or sensor. We have built such devices using RF and ultrasound power coupling. These simple devices could drastically reduce the size, weight, and cost of implants for applications where efficiency is not critical. However, a shortcoming has been a lack of control: any movement of the external power source would change the power coupling, thereby changing the stimulation current or modulating the sensor response. To correct for changes in power and signal coupling, we propose to use harmonic signals from the device. The diode acts as a frequency multiplier, and the harmonics it emits contain information about the drive level and bias. A simplified model suggests that estimation of power, electrode bias, and electrode resistance is possible from information contained in radiated harmonics even in the presence of significant noise. We also built a simple RF-powered stimulator with an onboard voltage limiter.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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