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Virtual electrodes for high-density electrode arrays

United States Patent

October 13, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The present embodiments are directed to implantable electrode arrays having virtual electrodes. The virtual electrodes may improve the resolution of the implantable electrode array without the burden of corresponding complexity of electronic circuitry and wiring. In a particular embodiment, a virtual electrode may include one or more passive elements to help steer current to a specific location between the active electrodes. For example, a passive element may be a metalized layer on a substrate that is adjacent to, but not directly connected to an active electrode. In certain embodiments, an active electrode may be directly coupled to a power source via a conductive connection. Beneficially, the passive elements may help to increase the overall resolution of the implantable array by providing additional stimulation points without requiring additional wiring or driver circuitry for the passive elements.
Cela; Carlos J. (Salt Lake City, UT), Lazzi; Gianluca (Salt Lake City, UT)
University of Utah Research Foundation (Salt Lake City, UT)
13/ 440,925
April 5, 2012
GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with government support under DE-SC0004116 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.