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A CMOS Power-Efficient Low-Noise Current-Mode Front-End Amplifier for Neural Signal Recording

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3 Author(s)
Chung-Yu Wu ; Department of Electronics Engineering and the Institute of Electronics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan ; Wei-Ming Chen ; Liang-Ting Kuo

In this paper, a new current-mode front-end amplifier (CMFEA) for neural signal recording systems is proposed. In the proposed CMFEA, a current-mode preamplifier with an active feedback loop operated at very low frequency is designed as the first gain stage to bypass any dc offset current generated by the electrode-tissue interface and to achieve a low high-pass cutoff frequency below 0.5 Hz. No reset signal or ultra-large pseudo resistor is required. The current-mode preamplifier has low dc operation current to enhance low-noise performance and decrease power consumption. A programmable current gain stage is adopted to provide adjustable gain for adaptive signal scaling. A following current-mode filter is designed to adjust the low-pass cutoff frequency for different neural signals. The proposed CMFEA is designed and fabricated in 0.18-μm CMOS technology and the area of the core circuit is 0.076 mm2. The measured high-pass cutoff frequency is as low as 0.3 Hz and the low-pass cutoff frequency is adjustable from 1 kHz to 10 kHz. The measured maximum current gain is 55.9 dB. The measured input-referred current noise density is 153 fA /√Hz , and the power consumption is 13 μW at 1-V power supply. The fabricated CMFEA has been successfully applied to the animal test for recording the seizure ECoG of Long-Evan rats.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 2 )