Treatment of neurological anomalies, whether done invasively or not, places stringent demands on device functionality and size. We have developed a micro-spectrometer for use as an implantable neural probe to monitor neuro-chemistry in synapses. The micro-spectrometer, based on a NASA-invented miniature Fresnel grating, is capable of differentiating the emission spectra from various brain tissues. The micro-spectrometer meets the size requirements, and is able to probe the neuro-chemistry and suppression voltage typically associated with a neural anomaly. This neural probe-pin device (PPD) is equipped with wireless power technology (WPT) to enable operation in a continuous manner without requiring an implanted battery. The implanted neural PPD, together with a neural electronics interface and WPT, enable real-time measurement and control/feedback for remediation of neural anomalies. The design and performance of the combined PPD/WPT device for monitoring dopamine in a rat brain will be presented to demonstrate the current level of development. Future work on this device will involve the addition of an embedded expert system capable of performing semi-autonomous management of neural functions through a routine of sensing, processing, and control.
Real time sensing of localized electrophysiological and neurochemical signals associated with spontaneous and evoked neural activity is critically important for understanding neural networks in the brain. Our goal is to enhance the functionality and flexibility of a neural sensing and stimulation system for the observation of brain activity that will enable better understanding from the level of individual cells to that of global structures. We have thus developed a miniaturized electronic system for <i>in-vivo </i>neurotransmitter sensing and optogenetic stimulation amenable to behavioral studies in the rat. The system contains a potentiostat, a data acquisition unit, a control unit, and a wireless data transfer unit. For the potentiostat, we applied embedded op-amps to build single potential amperometry for electrochemical sensing of dopamine. A light emitting diode is controlled by a microcontroller and pulse width modulation utilized to control optogenetic stimulation within a sub-millisecond level. In addition, this proto-typed electronic system contains a Bluetooth module for wireless data communication. In the future, an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) will be designed for further miniaturization of the system.
Development of an optical neurotransmitter sensing device using nano-plasmonic probes and a micro-spectrometer for real time monitoring of neural signals in the brain is underway. Clinical application of this device technology is to provide autonomous closed-loop feedback control to a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system and enhance the accuracy and efficacy of DBS treatment. By far, we have developed an implantable probe-pin device based on localized field enhancement of surface plasmonic resonance on a nanostructured sensing domain which can amplify neurochemical signals from evoked neural activity in the brain. In this paper, we will introduce the details of design and sensing performance of a proto-typed microspectrometer and nanostructured probing devices for real time measurement of neurotransmitter concentrations.
In this study, the effect of Parylene-C coated as a passivation layer on various rectennas is investigated in terms of their wireless power transfer performance. A passivation has been used for protection of rectenna circuits and their packaging in order for protection of the circuit elements and electrical insulation. Especially, wireless power receiving rectennas attached on sensors or on moving vehicles such as airship needs proper protection while they are exposed to harsh environment. In this research, a layer of Parylene-C thin film is used for passivation on rectennas and electromagnetic coupling by the coating is assessed by the measurement of receiving power levels. In this research, an electrochemical analysis method will also be introduced to measure the degree of water protection by a Parylene-C layer.
The goal of this research is to develop a mechanically flexible and biocompatible neural probe for in-vivo monitoring of unit neural impulses in the brain. In this research we present an implantable flexible polyimide-based neural probe that can minimize mechanical impact into the brain. Our device also features a micro-drive device which allows us to vertically adjust the probe after surgical implantation. This presentation will present the design and fabrication methods of a flexible polyimide probe and a microdrive.
In recent years, wireless strain sensors have received attention as an efficient method to measure response of a structure
in a remote location. Wireless sensors developed for remote measurement include RF wireless sensor modules and
microstrip antenna-based sensors. In this paper, a simple wireless vibration sensor based on a piezoelectric sensor and
the Frequency Modulation (FM) technique is developed for remote measurement of vibrating structures. The
piezoelectric sensor can generate a voltage signal proportional to dynamic strain of the host structure. The voltage signal
is then frequency modulated and transmitted wirelessly to a remote station by a simple FM transmitter circuit. Finally,
the received signal is demodulated by a conventional FM radio circuit, and the vibration measurement data can be
recovered. Since this type of wireless sensor employs a simple FM circuit, they do not require any wireless data
transmission protocols allowing a low-cost wireless sensor in compact format. The proposed concept of the wireless
vibration measurement is experimentally verified by measuring vibration of an aluminum cantilever beam. The proposed
sensor could potentially be an efficient and cost effective method for measuring vibration of remote structures for
dynamic testing or structural health monitoring.