LSU ECE Professor Receives Patent for Wireless Neural Stimulator

July 28, 2020

Neuron synapseBATON ROUGE, LA – Wanting to help those who struggle with pain management and neurological problems, LSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Jin-Woo Choi created a wireless implantable neural stimulator, for which he recently received a patent. If the device is available for implantation after further study, it will directly help patients with neurodegenerative and chronic diseases, controlling pain, and improving quality of life.

The idea for the stimulator was derived from discussions between Choi and co-inventors Aquiles Parodi, who received his PhD in ECE last year, and Edward Austin, a physical/occupational therapist currently working on his PhD in ECE.

“This general-purpose neural stimulator uses an alternating current (AC) signal to recreate naturally occurring neural processes,” Choi said. “The device is scalable, wireless, and passive, which allows it to be implanted and operated without invasive physical connections.”

The benefits of this stimulator are that it uses an external signal controller, allowing for easy upgrades to simulation control and algorithms. It’s also implantable and delivers stimulation without an on-board battery, complex processing units, or memory storage. Lastly, it operates at a frequency not blocked by skin, unlike similar radio frequency-based devices.

The stimulator consists of a resonant coupled power system, voltage rectifier and passive stimulation circuitry. The stimulation frequency is controlled by an external controller and the transmission frequency is determined by a resonant capacitor attached to an antenna.

Not only does the stimulator help with pain management, it can also be used in deep brain stimulation, neural prosthesis, and nerve cuff electrode, which is an electrode interface on a peripheral nerve that is cuff-shaped.

“We still need to further study and validate the device in vivo setups,” Choi said. “Once the stimulator becomes commercially available, clinics will be the main customer.”


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Contact: Libby Haydel

Communications Specialist