Battery-Free Implantable Neural Sensor

Van Mensvoort
December 27th 2009

moth_chip_x530.jpgThe shrinking size of electronics allows for the implantation of increasingly sophisticated electronic devices in the human body, paving the way for new prosthetics and brain-machine interfaces – think of the speculative phone tooth, conductive body paint or the brain-twitter interface. But so far a big challenge has been how to deliver power to electronic components embedded within the body.

While currently applied devices, such as cochlea or retinal implants, rely on inductive coupling, which means the power source needs to be centimeters away, engineers at Brown University have now developed an implantable neural sensing chip that is powered via a radio source that can be up to a meter away. The technology is similar to the equipment used to power and read information from radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.

So far, the technology has only been tested to measure neural activity in moths, but of course "the real challenges and application potential emerge in work with primates." says Arto Nurmikko, professor of engineering at Brown University. Another small step in the diminishing of the border between people and products.

Via Techreview. Image credit: Brian Otis. Related:  Implantable Silk Electronics, phone tooth, Metalosis Maligna.

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Harrion Forge
Posted 18/09/2011 – 09:27

Go easy on your E.B.E.s

Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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