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Portable, Chronic Neural Interface System Design for Sensory Augmentation

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10 Author(s)
Stephen P. Buerger ; Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM USA., (505)284-3381 ; Roy H. Olsson ; Kenneth E. Wojciechowski ; Esteban Yepez
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While existing work in neural interfaces is largely geared toward the restoration of lost function in amputees or victims of neurological injuries, similar technology may also facilitate augmentation of healthy subjects. One example is the potential to learn a new, unnatural sense through a neural interface. The use of neural interfaces in healthy subjects would require an even greater level of safety and convenience than in disabled subjects, including reliable, robust bidirectional implants with highly-portable components outside the skin. We present our progress to date in the development of a bidirectional neural interface system intended for completely untethered use. The system consists of a wireless stimulating and recording peripheral nerve implant powered by a rechargeable battery, and a wearable package that communicates wirelessly both with the implant and with a computer or a network of independent sensor nodes. Once validated, such a system could permit the exploration of increasingly realistic use of neural interfaces both for restoration and for augmentation.

Published in:

2007 3rd International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering

Date of Conference:

2-5 May 2007