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B6: IMCRSS: Implantable Multi-Channel Recording and Stimulation System

Karl-Heinz BovenE, Jörn RickertJ

E = Multi Channel Systems GmbH
J = Animal Physiol. & Neurobiol, Inst. of Biol.I

Scientific background

An implantable system that can simultaneously record and stimulate from many channels (IMCRSS) is a key component for three medical technologies researched and developed by the BCNT-FT: stroke rehabilitation, neuronal motor-prostheses and epilepsy intervention (see C1, C2 and C5 for details). Current systems for multi-channel recording and stimulation lack a telemetric interface and use cables to transfer data, limiting the time of implantation due to the increasing risk of infection with time. Available telemetric systems operate with few channels and low bandwidth, limiting the amount of information to be retrieved and the capability for complex stimulation (e.g. Northstar Neuroscience Inc., NeuroPace Inc.). None of the current systems can select electrodes for recording or stimulation arbitrarily. The principle investigators combine long experience in the manufacturing of multi-channel recording and stimulation devices with experience in the signal processing of neural data. Furthermore, they already work on the development of a HBMI (BMBF-GoBio project 0313891), in which the IMCRSS development will be integrated, serving as a final component necessary for the proof of technology.


To develop an implantable system, which can simultaneously record and stimulate different brain areas using flexible micro-electrode arrays developed in B1. The system will make use of up to 64 channels freely selectable for recording and stimulation, will be powered externally and use a bi-directional, telemetric interface to communicate the measured signals to external devices (analysis tools, prostheses), and to convert external commands into stimulating voltages.
The project starts with the development of an implantable stimulator and an implantable recording system with 8 channels, both powered and communicating through wires. Experimental parameter studies together with C1, C2 and C5 are then used for the design of a monolithic silicon chip for signal amplification, including a filter amplifier for 64 channels, a multiplexer and a built-in stimulation circuitry. A digital signal processor (e.g. TI DSP6000 series) will serve as the control unit for data acquisition, the generation of stimulus protocols for selected electrodes, and will be used for communicating through a high-speed infrared interface. An external magnetic field will be used for subcutaneous power supply, power consumption will be minimized by using synchronized transducers with high efficiency to avoid local heating of the surrounding tissue. Long-term stability and biocompatibility will be achieved by silicone encapsulation done at partnering facilities approved for production of class III medical devices. Throughout the project, IMCRSS development proceeds in parallel to the applied projects, to ensure at each stage, from research to clinic to market, that IMCRSS and applications converge on functional solutions for the next stage.

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