Implantable and Wearable Microelectronic Devices to Improve Quality of Life for People with Disabilities

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Publicado em Tue Dec 01 16:41:42 GMT-03:00 2015
Responsáveis:  Fabio Gomes Durand

Implantable microelectronic devices (IMD) and neuroprostheses are finding applications in new therapies thanks to advancements in microelectronics, microsensors, RF communications, and medicine, which have resulted in embedding more functions in IMDs that occupy smaller space and consume less power, while offering therapies for more complex diseases and disabilities. I will address the latest developments in key building blocks for state-of-the-art IMDs, particularly on the analog front-end, RF back-end, and power management. IMDs have been quite successful in neuroprosthetic devices, such as cochlear implants and deep brain stimulators. They have been recently approved for vision and are being considered for brain-computer interfacing (BCI) to enable individuals with severe physical disabilities to control their environments, particularly by accessing computers. Implantable BCIs, however, are highly invasive and should be used when there are no less invasive alternatives that would offer similar benefits.
They can also be utilized as advanced tools for neuroscience research on freely behaving animal subjects.
I will talk about the example of a smart cage, which can wirelessly power, communicate with, and track sensors implanted in or attached to small freely behaving animals. At the same time, novel minimally-invasive methods are being explored for individuals with severe paralysis to make the best use of their remaining abilities to control their environments. An example of such technologies is a wireless and wearable brain-tongue-computer interface (BTCI), also known as the Tongue Drive System (TDS), which enables individuals with tetraplegia to control their environments using their voluntary tongue motion.