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The size of the transducers for neural stimulation has shrunk steadily with application of thin-film techniques to electrode design. The feasibility is examined of designing millimeter- and submillimeter-sized power sources based on RF coupling that could be integrated into these implants to provide power without a tethering power cable. The coupling between a transmitter coil and receiver coil when the coil diameters are markedly different is analyzed, and for these circumstances, a simple Thevenin equivalent model is developed to describe the power transmission between the transmitter and receiver. The equivalent circuit developed gives insight into the way that coil diameters, frequency, and turns affect coupling between large and small coils. Several examples demonstrate that milliwatt range power sources can be implemented with millimeter- and submillimeter-diameter receivers.
Date of Publication: May 1988