An implantable neural interface with electromagnetic stimulation capabilities.

Author: Accoto D, Francomano MT, Rainer A, Trombetta M, Rossini PM, Guglielmelli E.
CIR-Laboratory of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Via Alvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Med Hypotheses.
Date published: 2013 May 14
Other: Pages: S0306-9877(13)00178-3 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.04.008 , Word Count: 174

Invasive interfaces with the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), which currently rely on electric means for both nerves stimulation and signals recording, are needed in a number of applications, including prosthetics and assistive technologies. Recent studies showed that the quality of the signal-to-noise ratio of the afferent channel might be negatively affected by physiological reactions, including fibrosis. In this paper we propose a novel approach to the development of implantable neural interfaces, where the PNS is excited electromagnetically and in situ, while electrical means are used only for neural signals recording. Electromagnetic (EM) waves, capable of overcoming fibrotic capsules, are generated by microfabricated coils. Stimulation coils and registration electrodes are deposited on the same flexible substrate, also provided with a bio-absorbable coating, which releases anti-fibrotic drugs and neurons-specific functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (NPs). The NPs are intended to improve the capability of local EM waves to elicit membranes depolarization, thus enhancing selectivity. This paper details the concept of the proposed technology and provides a preliminary in silico feasibility study.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 23683775