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Neural interface methods and apparatus to provide artificial sensory capabilities to a subject

United States Patent

January 24, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Embodiments of neural interfaces according to the present invention comprise sensor modules for sensing environmental attributes beyond the natural sensory capability of a subject, and communicating the attributes wirelessly to an external (ex-vivo) portable module attached to the subject. The ex-vivo module encodes and communicates the attributes via a transcutaneous inductively coupled link to an internal (in-vivo) module implanted within the subject. The in-vivo module converts the attribute information into electrical neural stimuli that are delivered to a peripheral nerve bundle within the subject, via an implanted electrode. Methods and apparatus according to the invention incorporate implantable batteries to power the in-vivo module allowing for transcutaneous bidirectional communication of low voltage (e.g. on the order of 5 volts) encoded signals as stimuli commands and neural responses, in a robust, low-error rate, communication channel with minimal effects to the subjects' skin.
Buerger; Stephen P. (Albuquerque, NM), Olsson, III; Roy H. (Albuquerque, NM), Wojciechowski; Kenneth E. (Albuquerque, NM), Novick; David K. (Albuquerque, NM), Kholwadwala; Deepesh K. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 136,859
June 11, 2008
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The United States Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.