Wireless microstimulators for neural prosthetics

Mesut Sahin, Victor Pikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


One of the roadblocks in the field of neural prosthetics is the lack of microelectronic devices for neural stimulation that can last a lifetime in the central nervous system. Wireless multi-electrode arrays are being developed to improve the longevity of implants by eliminating the wire interconnects as well as the chronic tissue reactions due to the tethering forces generated by these wires. An area of research that has not been sufficiently investigated is a simple single-channel passive microstimulator that can collect the stimulus energy that is transmitted wirelessly through the tissue and immediately convert it into the stimulus pulse. For example, many neural prosthetic approaches to intraspinal microstimulation require only a few channels of stimulation. Wired spinal cord implants are not practical for human subjects because of the extensive flexions and rotations that the spinal cord experiences. Thus, intraspinal microstimulation may be a pioneering application that can benefit from submillimetersize floating stimulators. Possible means of energizing such a floating microstimulator, such as optical, acoustic, and electromagnetic waves, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Energy harvesting
  • Floating stimulator
  • Infrared tissue penetration
  • Microstimulation
  • Neuroprosthetics
  • Neurostimulation
  • Radiofrequency telemetry
  • Ultrasound power transfer


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