Wireless Optogenetic Nanonetworks: Device Model and Charging Protocols

20 Jun 2017  ·  Wirdatmadja Stefanus A., Barros Michael Taynnan, Koucheryavy Yevgeni, Jornet Josep Miquel, Balasubramaniam Sasitharan ·

In recent years, numerous research efforts have been dedicated towards developing efficient implantable devices for brain stimulation. However, there are limitations and challenges with the current technologies... Firstly, the stimulation of neurons currently is possible through implantable electrodes but limited to a population of neurons. Secondly, a major hurdle lies in developing miniature devices that can last for a lifetime in the patient's brain. In parallel, Optogenetics has emerged proposing the stimulation of neurons using light by means of optical fibers inserted through the skull. Many challenges are thus introduced in terms of suitability to patient's lifestyle and biocompatibility. We have recently proposed the concept of wireless optogenetic nanonetworking devices (WiOptND), addressing these long-term deployment problems, and at the same time targeting single neuron stimulation [1]. The WiOptND is equipped with a miniature LED that is able to stimulate a genetically engineered neuron while harvesting energy from ultrasonic vibrations. This paper investigates how light propagates in the brain tissue, and based on the power required to emit sufficient intensity for stimulation, an energy harvesting circuitry is designed. A number of charging protocols are also proposed to maximize energy efficiency while ensuring minimum number of neural spike misfirings. These protocols include the Charge and Fire, the Predictive Sliding Detection Window, and its variant Markov-Chain based Time-Delay Patterns. Simulation results show the drop of stimulation ratio for 25% and more stable trend in its efficiency ratio are exhibited on Markov-Chain based Time-Delay Patterns compared to Change and Fire. The results show the feasibility of utilizing WiOptND for long-term implants, and a new direction towards precise stimulation of neurons in the cortical columns of the brain. read more

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Emerging Technologies Neurons and Cognition


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