We demonstrate a method of neurostimulation using implanted, free-floating, inter-neural diodes. They are activated by volume-conducted, high frequency, alternating current (AC) fields and address the issue of instability caused by interconnect wires in chronic nerve stimulation. The aim of this study is to optimize the set of AC electrical parameters and the diode features to achieve wireless neurostimulation. Three different packaged Schottky diodes (1.5 mm, 500 μm and 220 μm feature sizes) were tested in vivo (n = 17 rats). A careful assessment of sciatic nerve activation as a function of diode-dipole lengths and relative position of the diode was conducted. Subsequently, free-floating Schottky microdiodes were implanted in the nerve (n = 3 rats) and stimulated wirelessly. Thresholds for muscle twitch responses increased non-linearly with frequency. Currents through implanted diodes within the nerve suffer large attenuations (~100 fold) requiring 1-2 mA drive currents for thresholds at 17 μA. The muscle recruitment response using electromyograms (EMGs) is intrinsically steep for subepineurial implants and becomes steeper as diode is implanted at increasing depths away from external AC stimulating electrodes. The study demonstrates the feasibility of activating remote, untethered, implanted microscale diodes using external AC fields and achieving neurostimulation.
- Neural interfaces
- Neural prostheses
- Peripheral nerve stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering