ABSTRACT: We present versatile multifunctional programmable controller with bidirectional data telemetry, implemented using existing commercial microchips and standard Bluetooth protocol, which adds convenience, reliability, and ease-of-use to neuroprosthetic devices. Controller, weighing 190 g, is placed on animal's back and provides bidirectional sustained telemetry rate of 500 kb/s, allowing real-time control of stimulation parameters and viewing of acquired data. In continuously-active state, controller consumes ~420 mW and operates without recharge for 8 h. It features independent 16-channel current-controlled stimulation, allowing current steering; customizable stimulus current waveforms; recording of stimulus voltage waveforms and evoked neuronal responses with stimulus artifact blanking circuitry. Flexibility, scalability, cost-efficiency, and a user-friendly computer interface of this device allow use in animal testing for variety of neuroprosthetic applications. Initial testing of the controller has been done in a feline model of brainstem auditory prosthesis. In this model, the electrical stimulation is applied to the array of microelectrodes implanted in the ventral cochlear nucleus, while the evoked neuronal activity was recorded with the electrode implanted in the contralateral inferior colliculus. Stimulus voltage waveforms to monitor the access impedance of the electrodes were acquired at the rate of 312 kilosamples/s. Evoked neuronal activity in the inferior colliculus was recorded after the blanking (transient silencing) of the recording amplifier during the stimulus pulse, allowing the detection of neuronal responses within 100 ??s after the end of the stimulus pulse applied in the cochlear nucleus.
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 03/2010; · 3.44 Impact Factor