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18 February 2011 Development of VCSELs for optical nerve stimulation
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Neural stimulation using infrared optical pulses has numerous potential advantages over traditional electrical stimulation, including improved spatial precision and no stimulation artifact. However, realization of optical stimulation in neural prostheses will require a compact and efficient optical source. One attractive candidate is the vertical cavity surface emitting laser. This paper presents the first report of VCSELs developed specifically for neurostimulation applications. The target emission wavelength is 1860 nm, a favorable wavelength for stimulating neural tissues. Continuous wave operation is achieved at room temperature, with maximum output power of 2.9 mW. The maximum lasing temperature observed is 60° C. Further development is underway to achieve power levels necessary to trigger activation thresholds.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Matthew Dummer, Klein Johnson, Mary Hibbs-Brenner, Matthew Keller, Tim Gong, Jonathon Wells, and Mark Bendett "Development of VCSELs for optical nerve stimulation", Proc. SPIE 7883, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VII, 788351 (18 February 2011);


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