Intra-Cortical Visual Prosthesis

Over 4M people in the western world are blind, with more than 25 000 new cases yearly. The desire “to see” and better function in their world is pervasive and common across the world’s blind.

     We are pursuing the goal of creating a wireless intra-cortical visual prosthesis. This device consists of an image acquisition and a processing system that transmits instructions wirelessly to an implanted stimulator directly interfacing the visual cortex of the brain. The implanted part of the system itself consists of a central module which task is to retreive, from the radio-frequency signal, the power and data required for a multitude of micro-stimulators to properly induce sensations of bright spots in the subject’s field of vision. For this, high performance, low power and highly reliable components have to be designed and implemented.

       To date, efficient power recovery and demodulator circuitry have been designed and proven its functionality. An entirely integrated stimulator, including a flexible digital controller with configurable communication protocol, versatile current generators and low power monitoring circuits have been successfully imple-mented in 0.18 um CMOS process.

       Experimental in vivo validation is expected to begin in the coming steps through partnership with a research team at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University.

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